- Initial management following laying
Remember the wild flower lawn turf is still young 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 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.
I suggest you mow the turf within the first two or three weeks of laying it, to encourage the plants to fill in low down otherwise their tendency is to grow upwards. There will be new little wild flower plants appearing over the next couple of months and they need light to establish. I suggest you continue to mow once every 2 or 3 weeks for the next two months down to about 1 or 2 inches in height so the variety of species can become established.
- General advice and future management
I suggest when you mow the turf you take it down to a height of 2 inches (5cm) or shorter, this will create a good functional lawn for you to use. The species in this wild flower lawn turf will happily tolerate mowing down to a height of 1 inch (2.5cm).
Once the turf has matured, to receive good flowering all season maintain a mowing frequency of one cut every 3 to 6 weeks down to 1 or 2 inches high for the majority of the summer – this is approximate and you can certainly extend this mowing interval. However, if you mow too regularly i.e. every week, then many of the flowers will not get a chance to bloom, although you will not kill the plants you will not have much flowering. Conversely if you don’t cut it for long periods of time and let it get above 8 inches tall (which can be tempting due to all the flowering) then when you do cut it you will find it is a little bare at the ground level, however it will green up again and fill in after a couple of weeks during the growing season and so it will do no harm if you do decide to leave it uncut from say mid-May to the end of July to enjoy an abundance of wild flowers.
Another way to maximise the flowering and wildlife benefits of your wild flower lawn once it is matured, is instead of mowing the whole lawn in one go, you can mow alternate halves every 2 or 3 weeks i.e. alternating which half of the lawn you cut each time, this will ensure that there are always flowers to view and for bees and butterflies to enjoy throughout the summer, as it can take a week to ten days for flowering to resume following each mowing.
The final cut of the year should be done a little shorter than 2 inches to leave the lawn quite tight to ensure good flowering resumes in the spring. It is always better to remove the cuttings when mowing a wild flower turf. Please note that the wild flowers in your wild flower lawn turf are perennial and come up year after year and do not need to drop their seed. Your low flowering lawn will improve in flowering performance as time goes by, as the flowers adapt to the mowing regime you use.