Yellow rattle

Have a question? Post it here and the community will answer it.
Claire
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:06 pm
Location: Totnes, Devon
Has thanked: 2 times
Been thanked: 2 times

Yellow rattle

Post by Claire »

I started to cast yellow rattle into my meadow 5 years ago. It had become very grass heavy. It’s been grazed each winter for a very short period- a few weeks.
The rattle took really well and last year there was so much we decided this year we would harvest some seed. However this year I have had to search for the rattle there is so little !
Last winter was the first year we neither grazed or cut the meadow but I find it hard to believe that has caused this.
Has anyone had a similar experience ?
We are at Moreleigh. Thank you.
User avatar
Steve Pollard
Site Admin
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:03 pm
Location: Chagford, Dartmoor
Has thanked: 265 times
Been thanked: 80 times

Re: Yellow rattle

Post by Steve Pollard »

Claire, if you had an abundance of rattle last year, there are really only two reasons why you wouldn't have it this year. 1. the rattle was grazed after germinating in mid-spring this year. 2. the sward was not open enough for the rattle to successfully germinate into this spring. From what you say, I'm sure it was the latter. Yellow rattle is an annual plant common in haymeadows, and as such, unlike almost all other meadow plants, it has to grow anew year. It is common in haymeadows because the sward is cut short at least once a year, so that when the seeds germinate in spring they have light and space to grow into before establishing their parasitisation of nearby plants. As your meadow was uncut, the seedlings were out-competed in the closed sward. Generally, the optimal management for yellow rattle is a late-summer cut, followed by sufficient aftermath grazing to ensure that the sward is as short as possible for germination in early-spring. I'm sorry!
Robin
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2020 3:50 pm
Location: Ideford, Devon
Been thanked: 19 times

Re: Yellow rattle

Post by Robin »

I wonder if the mild winter was a contributory factor. Yellow rattle needs frost to germinate and there weren't many nights that cold.
Post Reply