Back in Spring 2019, we decided we wanted to do something more useful with the field in front of our house. With an interest in Nature Recovery and as a consequence of working with BBOWT, we decided to turn our old cow-field into a Wildflower Meadow. We’ve written a series of blogs to capture our progress. this is the third in the series (here are the links to the others… Blog 1 – The Plan, Blog 2 – Cutting the Hay
How do I create a wildflower Meadow – Steps 2 and 3 – cutting the grass short and then using the chain harrow with the tractor to remove the thatch
In order to give the wildflower seeds the best chance of success, we wanted to expose sufficient bare earth whilst retaining some of the key plants already in the field. The solution was to cut the mowed field as short as possible (Ross, our Favoiured Drone) used the small sit-down mower we have – took a while but he got there!
We decided that we’d leave a strip of grass round the edge of the field to let the dog run and such that we can still have camping parties without trashing the meadow. So, in mid July, Graham The Farmer came with his chain harrow and expertly removed most of the ‘thatch’ from the bulk of the field, leaving some of the soil exposed but still retaining much of the existing latent flora. The field looked awful – if you are / are planning to do a similar exercise yourself, this is the stage at which you start thinking, “OMG what have we done to our beautiful field!” Hang in there – it is worth it in the end – promise!
It’s important to harrow and tine as close to when you are going to sew the seeds as possible to make sure the bare earth stays visible.
We’re planting the wildflower meadow with help from BBOWT (The Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust) to help support our bees and encourage wildlife back.
If you want to know how do I create a wildflower meadow, have a look at the other blogs we’re written as we journal our steps to a (hopefully) beautiful and species rich pasture 🙂
The picture shows a very pregnant Eds The Ragdoll posing in front of the somewhat trashed-looking field (and here’s what emerged)