- Before cultivating use whatever method is best suited to your system to get rid unwanted weeds such as couch grass, nettles etc.
- If using spray do so March/April when green and growing actively.
- I use Roundup @ about 4L/Ha or use a similar herbicide.
- 50mls/4.5L of water in a knapsack.
- Cultivate 2 weeks after spraying, if conditions are suitable.
- Ploughing before cultivating is best as it buries any trash. A fine fluffy dry seedbed is essential for good establishment.
- Aim to sow in mid-April if the weather is good.
- Sowing rate 6kgs per .40Ha.
- 150gms/100square metres.
- Mix the seed with a few Kgs of dry sand so that you get a more even spread and don’t lose it all together.
Sowing options such as broadcasting, seed drills or a lawn fertiliser spreader all work well but be extremely careful with calibration if using one of these applicators as they are designed for spreading large quantities of fertiliser or seed and you are only sowing a tiny amount.
Covering the seed
• A very light covering is all that is required using for example a grass harrow.
- A simple home-made device such as
this old ESB pole pulled behind a tractor is
ideal for covering the seed.
- Be very careful not to bury the seed too deep. 5mm is ample.
- Rolling is often recommended instead of covering if the ground is dry but I would still advise to lightly rake in the seeds first.
No fertiliser because this will only encourage
competition from grass and
- Wildflowers do best in poor soil and this is why you often see them on roadside banks and poor areas.
First Year Maintenance
- The management of this perennial meadow is totally different from our standard wildflower meadow.
- You need to cut this back to 75mm whenever the growth reaches 150mm. Remove the cuttings immediately after each cut.
- This will need to be done a number of times with the last cutting in early November and as low as 30mm if possible, again removing the cuttings.
Remove Weeds as required.
- If any
perennial weeds such Docks, Nettles or
Thistles appear at any stage just remove them by spot spraying
with a knapsack or by digging them.
- Some experts recommend sowing a bit of Yellow rattle in the autumn to help supress the grass in the following years.
Management for the Following Years
- From year 2 onwards the only cutting that will need to be done will be once after the end of the flowering season when most of the seeds have fallen, around early November. Cut everything back to around 30mm and leave for a few days so that any seeds still on the cut plants will fall. Remove the vegetation then. Take out and remove any unwanted noxious weeds at any stage during the season by digging or careful spot spraying.
- Irish Agent for UK based Bright Seeds.
- Attends training days regularly with Bright Seeds in Salisbury.
- Over 15 years experience in trialling and experimenting with wildlife friendly crops to suit Irish schemes and conditions.
- Ex fruit farmer with a keen interest in shooting and conservation.
- e-mail; email@example.com
- Phone; 025 36253.