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Cutting meadows
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Treacodactyl
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Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 15 7:16 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
Most wildflowers are not very competitive and rely upon low fertility to compete with the grasses, which is why they do better in haymeadows with limited grazing. It depends on the overall fertility how much of a difference it'll make but in our ings it needs to be cut or it leaves a carpet that gets stuck in the mower the following year and reduces the quality of the subsequent hay crop.


The soil is very low in fertility so I'm not really worried about that. There also seems to almost be more wild flowers than grass, so again I wouldn't worry if the grasses got a bit of a boost.

The carpeting is what I'm more worried about, although I'm not sure what state the sward is currently in or how it's been treated in the past.

I don't have access to a flail mower or the means to use one. I may try mowing some with a lawn mower if time permits or scything and raking off if I can get a snath sorted.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 15 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Treacodactyl wrote:
Rob R wrote:
Most wildflowers are not very competitive and rely upon low fertility to compete with the grasses, which is why they do better in haymeadows with limited grazing. It depends on the overall fertility how much of a difference it'll make but in our ings it needs to be cut or it leaves a carpet that gets stuck in the mower the following year and reduces the quality of the subsequent hay crop.


The soil is very low in fertility so I'm not really worried about that. There also seems to almost be more wild flowers than grass, so again I wouldn't worry if the grasses got a bit of a boost.

The carpeting is what I'm more worried about, although I'm not sure what state the sward is currently in or how it's been treated in the past.

I don't have access to a flail mower or the means to use one. I may try mowing some with a lawn mower if time permits or scything and raking off if I can get a snath sorted.


In that case you're probably OK to leave it for a year. However, if it is a rich source there may be people willing to take the crop for reseeding new wildflower meadows. On that note it might be worth getting in touch with conservation groups & Natural England in the area to see if there's any interest.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 15 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
On that note it might be worth getting in touch with conservation groups & Natural England in the area to see if there's any interest.




Sorry, but I've had several poor experiences with the local conservation group. NE may be better than other government departments I've recently dealt with but my experiences with them has taught me to avoid.

We will try and identify what's growing, as it is something we're interested in, though and see what we can do to look after anything rare.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 15 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Ignore any of the 'officials' aside from taking the contact details for the practical people. Things tend to be a lot easier when you take the unofficial route.

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19829
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 15 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thank you for your answers by the way. I knew them already. I realise that at some point Treac wants to cut hay which might have influenced them but really I was hoping that there might be some thought in different directions.

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18369

PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 15 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Try contacting SABI (Scythe Assoc of Britain and ireland), see whether there are mowers in your area.

If you can get it cut and carted off, I would recommend. It probably will make it much harder to cut next year. (voice of bitter experience here; and I've also seen it in other 'wildflower meadows')

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 15 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cathryn wrote:
Thank you for your answers by the way. I knew them already. I realise that at some point Treac wants to cut hay which might have influenced them but really I was hoping that there might be some thought in different directions.


It does sound like it would make a lovely building plot, or is that not what you meant?

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 15 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Rob R wrote:
Cathryn wrote:
Thank you for your answers by the way. I knew them already. I realise that at some point Treac wants to cut hay which might have influenced them but really I was hoping that there might be some thought in different directions.


It does sound like it would make a lovely building plot, or is that not what you meant?


No need, house is already there. As for Cathryn's question, long term it would go back to woodland. Bracken is encroaching from the woodland boundary and that can be kept in check by mowing a wide path. Brambles may also spread but roe deer will keep them in check. There's a few rabbits about but not enough to make much difference to the grass and no red deer that I know of. (Red deer seem to get ignored round these parts as grazing animals by those that want funding to look after grassland). I expect they're be a few tree seedlings appearing, probably down to the jays planting nuts and seeds, but I can pull those out/transplant them easily enough.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1392
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 15 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have given my hay crop away for the last 10 years to a horse lady who wanted non fertilised grass to feed her little darlings and it has worked well for me. It is the only thing that happens to my grass, its annual cut! There are plenty of folks for whom an acre of grassland is all they need to feed their stock and prefer to know where it comes from. Before, when I had an acre paddock on which I fattened 6 lambs in winter, a local small dairy farmer was glad of that ground to make hay and give me 6 bales for my sheep's winter fodder. You just have to put it about locally and someone will turn up for your hay crop!

Mutton



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 1506

PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 15 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

For hay cutting, two things folks will want to know

1. Any rocks sticking up or stones lying on the surface

2. Any lumps and bumps/lots of molehills.

Both of the above blunt, or even break, the blades on a mower.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 15 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Molehills yes, in a field in one corner. Stones, who knows as there's a covering of tall grass and wild flowers at the moment. What about giant puffballs, there's quite a few of them?

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32882
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 15 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

stones are an issue even if scything

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33659
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 15 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Puffballs, less so.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 15 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Accidental pheasant Tsujigiri is a distinct possibility while scything, they seem to love the long grass at the moment.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32882
Location: yes
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 15 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

that is a mixed blessing,bad for birdie ,ideal for dinner

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