Cutting the orchard meadow before full sun

I always set the mowers blades high and they stay that way through the year. The orchards sward stays green and lush through the height of the summer even on the driest of years. Grass cuttings are used to mulch soft fruit bushes and the standard apple and cherry trees. This year is going to be a challenge as the rainfall has been low through the winter and the spring. Leaving the grass long slows evaporation and holds the dew in the mornings. In contrast my neighbour’s mow short and their ground is yellowing and I’ve no doubt I’ll hear the sprinklers soon. This year reminds me strongly of the spring of 1976!

I’m not tidy. I don’t cut at the edges of the field leaving long grass as hiding places for newly fledge birds. I leave daffodils and primroses stand and only cut when the flower pods are dry and rattling with seed. I collect the seeds before I cut and spread them where I think a splash of colour will look good in spring.