Ah spring is here!
Around the spring equinox, with daytime air and soil temperatures rising, the meadows begin to wake from their winter slumber. Fresh green grass shoots appear, yellow rattle germinates and cowslip heads start to push upwards.
Meadows benefit from some attention at this time to set them up for easier mowing later in the summer and also to help promote balance and diversity in the sward; a bit of a spring clean and refresh. I think of this as three main tasks:
The first spring cleaning task is to clear any stray twigs, leaves and branches that may have blown in which might later interfere with growth or progress of the scythe. George Peterken in his ‘Meadows’ book describes how European wood pastures are raked over each year to gather up twigs, leaves and moss. This is then burnt and the ashes scattered back over…
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