How to Cut Meadow Grass
From: DK Books - Lawns
Meadows can provide a spectacular display of wildflowers and seedheads throughout the summer, but for this to continue year after year they will need an annual cut. Choose a dry day towards the end of summer.
- landscape rake
- hand shears (for small areas, optional)
- string trimmers (for large areas, optional)
1. Prepare the space.
Before cutting down a meadow, shake any ripe seedheads onto the ground. This should ensure that there are plenty of seeds in the ground for the following year.
2. Cut down the grasses and wildflowers.
Use a scythe and be extremely careful to keep the blade well away from your body. Make sure that the blade is sharp, and cut the grass at a height of about 2-1/2 inches (6 cm).
3. Use a landscape rake to collect the cut grass into piles.
It is worth leaving these clippings on the ground for a few days before you remove them to allow any extra seed to drop and to allow any resident wildlife to escape.
4. Remove the cut grass after a few days.
If left on the ground, it can cause a thatch to form that may smother plants. Left clippings can also increase the soil fertility, which will encourage coarser grasses to compete with any wildflowers.
5. Take notice of smaller areas.
It may be just as easy to use a pair of hand shears to cut back the meadow grass to the desired height. Alternatively for much larger areas of meadow, string trimmers are very effective and will require less time and physical effort than a scythe.