Yellow rattle is a semi-parasitic grassland plant. It is an annual flower that has two-lipped yellow petals. Yellow rattle can be a real pest to farmers as it can reduce the grass yield by 50%, however, for gardeners, this can be a real benefit. Yellow rattle germinates between late February and early March, flowers in June/July and seeds towards to the end of July.
But why seed yellow rattle?
There is a whole host of reasons that yellow rattle may be beneficial to seed in your garden. First of all, because the yellow rattle is semi-parasitic it keeps the grass low. This is perfect for wildflower meadows where you want the flowers to be able to grow higher than the grass, for example, we have used lots of yellow rattle in our wildflower meadows. In addition to keeping the grass levels low, they also provide a haven for wildlife and biodiversity.
How to plant it?
You will need to seed yellow rattle in the autumn to allow the seeds to have long cool winter to help trigger the germination when spring arrives. In addition, you want to seed it on bare grown if possible. Here at The Sign Maker, we collect the seeds every year to help spread them further across the farm.