When and how often should I cut my wildflower meadow?

When and how often should I cut my wildflower meadow?

It’s important to know when it is best to cut a wildflower meadow to ensure your wildflowers continue to grow and thrive with stunning results year after year. Wildflowers have a reputation for being considerably less maintenance than other garden flora – since they don’t need regular feeding, watering or pruning. However, they will require regular cutting and trimming for them to continue to be less maintenance and to encourage the best results!

When to cut a wildflower meadow depends on when the seeds were sown

If you sow your wildflower seeds in spring, you should aim to mow your wildflower meadow down to 7cm at the end of summer/beginning of autumn when your wildflowers go to seed head. Likewise, if you sow your wildflower seeds in autumn, you should mow your wildflower meadow down to 7cm if they have reached 10cm in height. Year after year, in both scenarios, you should aim for an autumn mow and a summer mow.

This maintenance method will encourage your wildflowers to grow back strong year after year.

Not all wildflowers grow at the same speed

It’s important to point out that certain species within all wildflower mixes may be more plentiful than others, subject to the conditions under which they are sown. Your wildflower meadow will change in appearance as certain species may become more dominant than others, and over time, some of your favourites may require some new seeds to be sown.

You can complete more cuts throughout the year to encourage a wider variety of wildflower diversity and more wildlife in your meadow.

Wildflowers can bloom at different times of the year

As wildflowers have varying flowering periods, cutting at different times can allow for early-blooming wildflowers to appear in spring and late-blooming wildflowers to appear in summer to early autumn. This will ultimately lead to the extension of your wildflower meadow blooming period and encourage new species to cultivate whilst ensuring your meadow is a hive of activity for pollinators for as long as possible.

Advice for when to cut a wildflower meadow

As mentioned above, knowing when to cut a wildflower meadow in the first year will depend on when you originally planted your seeds. So, keep reading below, where we go into more detail on when it’s best to cut your wildflower meadow!

First cut in the first year (new meadow)

Autumn sown seed

Mow down to 7cm in March / April when the meadow has grown to 10cm. Mow again down to 7cm at the end of the season in August / September.

Spring sown seed

Mow down to 7cm at the end of the season in August / September.

Subsequent cuts in following years (established meadow)

Spring cut

Since the last time you mowed your meadow was autumn, grass growth within your meadow should be sufficient again for another mow down to 7cm. This will help to kickstart the early blooming season of spring wildflowers that will occur from May onwards. Please do not leave this mow any later than April, or it may stunt your spring blooms’ growth.

Summer cut

By cutting between June and August, you can encourage the growth of more later-season wildflowers, again cutting back to 7cm and removing the bulk of material that has already bloomed.

Autumn cut

The autumn cut is essential for keeping excess grass and weeds at bay and resetting the new growth of your meadow for the year ahead. Cut back to 7cm, leaving clippings to self-seed for a few days if you have annuals in your mix. Remove clippings if you have a perennial meadow.

Why the extra cuts?

These extra cuts mimic the grazing routine of animals, which historically (and still in some areas) would have grazed meadows. These routine cuts would encourage new wildflowers to grow and flourish, increasing the biodiversity within the meadow.

Further reading on when to cut a wildflower meadow

As you will know after reading our advice on when to cut a wildflower meadow, a lot of the success of the growth of your wildflowers comes down to prep work and maintenance. To help you get the best out of our wildflower seed mix to create the perfect wildflower meadow, we have included some links below to a few pieces of helpful advice we have written over the past year:

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