Yellow Rattle is an attractive flowering annual that is semi-parasitic on some grasses and is often sown in an attempt to weaken very vigorous grass growth. It does not thrive in all grassland situations, but where it is happy it will.
The ground should be prepared in the autumn by cutting the grass sward to about 5 cm and exposing patches of soil by raking or harrowing. The seed should be sown on to the soil at a rate of half to one gram per square metre in the autumn or early winter as it needs a period of cold to germinate.
The grass should be cut short again in early/mid February to provide ideal conditions for the seed to germinate (usually late Feb/early March) and then should not be cut from March through to the end of July, to allow the flowers to set seed so that fresh plants grow the following year.
If you are sowing one of our Wild flower and grass seed mixes (without Cornfield Annuals), then wait until the following autumn before sowing Yellow Rattle seed because the wild flower and grass area will need cutting regularly in its first Spring/early Summer and this would mean that the Yellow Rattle will not flower.
Yellow Rattle seed is available from August through to December and the plug plants are available during the Spring.