What are waxcaps? Waxcaps are the most visible and distinctive members of the grassland fungi community. Often brightly colored and with a waxy or slimy texture, they have a strong association with old, undisturbed and nutrient poor grasslands. Examples include old pastures and meadows, churchyards and lawns. The most diverse populations are found in areas that are grazed or mown regularly and that have had … Continue reading Waxcaps and Grassland Fungi
We are often asked if it is possible to mow a lawn with a scythe. The answer is yes and there are many people in the UK doing just that! Lawn mowing can be a test of a scythers skill, it takes some thought and practice to do well. Here is a summery of the factors you need to consider if you are thinking of … Continue reading Mowing a Lawn with a Scythe
No scyther enjoys meeting a molehill whilst mowing. It interrupts the flow of your scythe strokes, and worse still, blunts your blade! We have a very healthy population of moles on the farm, complete with accompanying molehills. Now, whilst the weather is dry but before the grass is really growing away, is the time of year to flatten them. The industrious moles will of course … Continue reading Spring in the Meadows – Molehill bashing!
What to do if you’re running low on animal bedding? Go out and harvest more! The bracken on our farm needs controlling, but it is also an incredibly useful resource. Amongst other things, we use it for cattle bedding. When the autumn harvest began to run out, Phil and I took a late cut from a scrubby corner. Despite a winter of rain and wind, … Continue reading A Late Bracken Harvest
RHS Chelsea Flower show starts next week. And we will soon begin hay making with our annual “Chelsea Chop” Conventional advise has suggested waiting until July or later before beginning to cut wildflower meadows. In recent years this advice has begun to change. We now begin our hay making at the end of May and continue throughout the summer. This has interesting benefits for both … Continue reading When to Mow your Wildflower Meadow
Unlike mechanical mowers a scythe is perfectly happy cutting wet vegetation ….which is lucky really, considering the weather we have been having. The view out of the window may not be very enticing, but sometimes you just have to get out there and mow! In fact, damp drizzly days can be an ideal chance to catch up on some mowing jobs. Mowing in the Rain … Continue reading You Can Scythe in the Rain.
Making an Early Start. Conventional advise has suggested waiting until July or later before beginning to cut wildflower meadows. However, in recent years this has begun to change and we have started some of our hay making from the end of May. One late cutting date is more suited to machine mowing, where as hand hay making lends it’s self to a more nuanced approach. … Continue reading Giving part of the meadow the Chelsea Chop