At the time of writing, the tree leaves are starting to change colours, flowers are releasing their seeds and the weather is cool yet mild. In short, autumn is here.
Autumn is a very important time of year for gardeners who are cultivating meadow plants and wildflowers. Our Meadowmat products allow you to create a garden meadow that can be maintained with very little effort and will always look great. However, there are certain things you can do during the autumn months to help keep your meadow plants healthy in the long term.
Important Jobs For Winter
The main task you should perform during the autumn is cleaning up your meadow. By removing dead stalks and raking away other types of plant debris, you can create a healthy space where seeds can fall and where new plants will be able to grow in the spring.
Of course, meadow plants and wildflowers are generally very hardy and can grow in even messy environments. So you don’t have to worry about disposing of every last dead stalk and fallen leaf; simply getting rid of the worst of your plant debris should be more than sufficient to encourage healthy growth.
If your wildflower meadow was created using Meadowmat for Birds and Bees, this job can be postponed until early in the new year so that you (and the birds) reap the full benefit of all those lovely seedheads.
Remove Unwanted Plants
Wildflower meadows are all about biodiversity and cultivating as many plant species as possible in the space available, however, that doesn’t mean that every species is particularly welcome. Tree seedlings, for example, are not ideal, neither are invasive plants such as nettles.
Autumn is also a fantastic time to pull up unwanted plants. Autumnal rains will make the soil moist and enable you to remove any unwanted plants more easily. However, you should be careful to pull up the weeds before they go to seed, or you’ll just have a fresh crop of them next year! Don’t leave the task of weed disposal until it’s too late.
Autumn Meadow Mowing
Finally, you may wish to consider mowing your garden meadow. This is particularly useful if your meadow is a bit too grassy for your tastes. Mowing and removing the clippings will help to keep grasses under control and allow other plants to flourish.
Of course, it’s important to mow only after your plants have released their seeds, otherwise, you’ll have a much more barren meadow next year.
We recommend that you wait until your plants and wildflowers have released their seeds and started to wilt before you mow the meadow to a height of between four and six inches. Again, if you’re dealing with Meadowmat for Birds and Bees you may want to either; delay mowing until after Christmas OR; cut carefully around the seedheads that you want to preserve.
This serves a similar purpose to clearing away plant debris – it creates a spacious and uncongested environment that will allow new plants to grow healthily when spring rolls around.
Adding To The Bioversity In A Wildflower Meadow
This is the perfect time to sow new seed into bare patches in your newly-cleared meadow. It’s also a great time to plant spring-flowering bulbs amongst the meadow plants for some early colour that will help support bees.
Autumn is a vital time for meadow maintenance, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to keep your garden meadow in excellent condition!