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Yellow Rattle

Thursday, April 3rd 2014

Volunteers spent time today planting out the new Yellow Rattle plugs on the Moorland Wildflower Meadow.

Yellow Rattle is an attractive semi-parasitic grassland annual. In meadows this plant can weaken and suppress the growth of grasses producing a better display of wildflowers.  Yellow Rattle germinates from late February to early March, flowers in June, and sets seed in July. At the end of each growing season as the annual plants die away they leave behind gaps into which new wildflowers can establish.

The top layer of grass was removed by turning over a sod of earth which the plugs were then planted into. This reduces competition on the young plants from other species, giving them the best chance of becoming established. Three areas were planted with the density of plugs becoming less as you move away from the centre to mimic natural clumps and drifts of wildflowers.

Thank you to everyone who helped with this today; it will be very exciting to see how these develop and grow over the coming months!


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