Second Year of a Wildflowers Meadow

Wildflower meadows are a popular way to get lots of colour into your garden. This is not the only benefit as the array of colours, flowers, foliage and fragrances attract a host of insects into your garden. Starting a wildflower meadow involves a number of steps that really need to be followed through to ensure the best results
In previous articles we discuss the process involved in starting a meadow and in this article we want to expand on how to look after and maintain your meadow into the 2nd year
In many causes meadows don’t go as planned and you can soon find that a range of unwanted plants (weeds) start to emerge, colonise and out compete your wildflowers. This is unavoidable in most cases but there are ways to solve the problem


As your wildflower matures it changing in terms of the plants that will grow and the colours and heights develop a new character as it ages. This is because many wildflower mixes come with both annual and perennial seeds. In the first years the annuals are more evident but over time these give way to the permanent perennial seeds

In general terms there are a few steps to ensure that your meadow performs at its best for years two and three:

  • Cutting: Cut your Meadow in late summer and collect the cuttings (August is ideal)
  • Collect the cutting with a rake and scratch the soil surface while doing so. This allows for germination of fallen seeds
  • You need to collect the cuttings to reduce soil fertility & increase light and air to soil level
  • Cut again in spring. Cutting from March until Mid-May, again collecting the cuttings
  • This will prevent the develop of heavy & taller grass swards which outcompete meadow flowers
  • This process of cutting and collecting should continue until the wildflower has established

In terms of recovering a poor meadow and removing grass you can:
Spot weed the problem weeds such as sctutch grass, Docks, Reeds, Rushes, Veronica,
More invasive weed problems such as Mares Tail and Japanese knot Weed should handle treated as a unique problem
Dense areas of grass can be strimmed down or cut down with a scythe. Collect cuttings, rake soil surface and reseed with Yellow Rattle. The Yellow Rattle has the advance of stunting the growth of surrounding plants and will eventually reseed and colonise the area
Following on from that the meadow can should be kept sort until the following May. By continually cutting the meadow you will prevent heavy grass growth and instead develop a thin grass which will become less of an issue for your wildflowers.
Gap creation is another way of re-establishing your meadow. After cutting and collecting you can clear small strips throughout the meadow and re seed. This can be done in Autumn or Spring and can be sown with Yellow Rattle or a specific seed mix. Gap creation on a larger scale can be done using a harrow.