Yellow Rattle seed., Latin name Rhinanthus Minor, sometimes commonly known as Hay Rattle. It is a semi parasitic plant and a natural way to reduce the impact of grass in meadows

The demand and interest in growing wildflower meadows has dramatically increased in the past few years. This is particularly the case with Yellow Rattle Seed which is the only natural commercially available option to manage the grass levels in a wildflower meadow.

It seems very likely that demand for Yellow Rattle will outstrip supply again this Autumn.

To make sure that you get the best value from what you buy, you should consider these points.

Buying Yellow Rattle

  • Ideally you want to plant in the autumn and plant seeds that have been harvested in the same year. This is because the viability of seed falls overtime. If you plant 2020 seeds in 2021 then they will not germinate until spring 2022. This means they will be up to 18 months away from when they were harvested. They may still grow but you will have much greater success with sowing seeds from the harvest year.
  • There are only a few growers of yellow rattle seed in the UK. These crops are being harvested at the end of July early August. They then, in some cases have to be dried, all have to be cleaned and then processed and packed. If you take delivery of your Yellow Rattle much before mid August then it may be much more likely that you will get 2020 seeds.

Planting Yellow Rattle

  • Yellow Rattle should be planted in the autumn. It needs the winter cold period (vernalisation) to break the dormancy, it then germinates in the spring. So, you can plant anytime, weather permitting, until December.
  • For Yellow Rattle to germinate successfully it needs grass to be there. It is a semi parasitic plant that latches onto the grass and in doing so weakens the grass. Then there's more room for other wildflowers. But without grass there the Yellow Rattle will not grow.
  • If you are clearing the ground completely in the autumn to plant a Meadow. Then you may see yellow rattle in your meadow mix. You need to think though before you add even more yellow rattle seed if planting on to bare ground. Because, if the grass does not grow by the time spring comes around. Then you may waste your money on the extra Yellow Rattle seed. In some cases with a new Meadow it may be better to get the meadow established, see if the grass dominates if the first summer. If it does then add more Yellow Rattle Seed the following autumn.
  • Sow at 01. to 0.5 grams to the square metre. Cut the grass back very short and scarify the ground hard. Ideally bulk the seed up with sand. Broadcast the seed in amongst the grass then finally roll or walk all over it afterwards. Yellow rattle will not germinate until the spring, so you won't know how successful it is until then. It is an annual so if it doesn't take in the first year you will lose the seed.

If you want some more advice or recommendations about Yellow Rattle or Wildflower meadows then contact us either on 0800 085 4399 or email Tim Evans at shop@meadowmania.co.uk

To buy some 2021 Harvest Yellow Rattle Seed click on the link below.

Yellow Rattle Seed 2021 Harvest