How to manage your wild flower turf

Initial management following laying:

Remember the wild flower turf is still young when you receive it but once the roots hit the soil and the turf get nutrients it will grow fast. We check its top growth using a black base sheet in the turf bed to limit its nutrition until it is shipped and laid.

Always lay it onto freshly rotavated or cultivated ground so its roots can penetrate easily. See the photographic step by step laying guide we created by clicking here.

Water the turf every 2 or 3 days for the first 2 weeks unless we have a lot of rain. If you continue watering regularly for longer you will encourage the grasses to grow too strongly and they could dominate (this does not apply if there is a drought of course). 

The wild native orchid seed I supply with my turfs should be dusted onto the surface of the turf once it has been laid. Instructions come with the orchid seed packet, which I mail out to you ahead of your turf arriving.

Ongoing Management:

The management for my wild flower turfs is very straightforward, simply cut the year’s growth down nice and short (down to a couple of inches) and rake clear the cuttings immediately. This annual cutting is best done between September and October, this gives enough time for the turf to grow back up a few inches and consequently green up again before winter sets in, which I think is more aesthetic.

I do advise that you clear any significant leaf fall from on top of the turf over the winter, as a lot of leaves will block light out for the plants laying beneath and can create bare patches when the leaves have rotted away. This is especially pertinent for my Shade Tolerant Turf which will often have trees nearby.

If you so wish you can cut the turf down any time of the year, you won’t kill it, you will merely have to wait for the turf to grow back up and re-flower after a few weeks, when it will normally flower shorter than before because of the cut. This can be a handy trick if you have laid your turf on very fertile soil which will cause the flowers to grow taller than if laid on normal unenriched soil. In such cases some people do a cut (always remove the cuttings) in the first week of May, often referred to as ‘a Chelsea cut’, being a nod to the famous flower show, whereby exhibitors delay the flowering of their plants by cutting them ahead of the show date.

If you are after a lower flowering lawn then you should consider using my Extra Floristic Low Flowering Lawn Turf, this is a turf that you mow on a more regular basis and still have flowering amongst the grasses, it can be used both as a practical lawn to walk over and as a colourful and wildlife friendly feature. You can view more about this particular turf by clicking here. It has a slightly different management from my other turfs and it has it’s own instruction sheet which you can view by clicking here.