WILD FLOWER SEEDING
Creating a beautiful diverse wild flower meadow is perhaps one of the most visually rewarding and environmentally satisfying things we do. Over the last 30 years we have through preparing, sowing and maintaining a vast range of sites through out the Uk gained a great understanding on how to establish a successful wild flower meadow.
An initial site visit to fully understand the clients requirements and to do a full assessment of the site and surrounding vegetation is imperative in formulating a methodology to prepare and choose the right wild flower species to suit the clients requirements, soil type aspect, local vegetation adjacent to the site and various other factors which need to be taken into account. Wild flower mixes are traditionally based on an 80/20 mix of non aggressive grasses and wild flowers sown at relatively low seeding rates of between 3gms and 5 gms per m2. Alternatively pure wild flower mixes can we sown and are generally sown at 1gm to 2 gms per m2. Additionally there are high impact flower mixes which while are not strictly wild flower mixes, have a big impact visually and environmentally.
Once a methodology and wild flower mix is agreed on, the next step is to prepare the site for seeding, this is perhaps the most important stage as it is imperative to create a clean seed bed i.e. one which is free of noxious weeds and invasive grasses which if left untreated would dominant the sward. For this reason wild flower seeding is best carried out on low fertility soils and subsoil’s which are nutrient deficient and don’t have an inherent seed bank. If the proposed wild flower seeding area consists of a very fertile soil with a large seed bank within it, it may be necessary to undertake multiple treatments by cultivation, herbicide treatment or a combination of both over a prolonged period to ensure that the soil is free of weeds. Weed seeds can lie dormant for hundreds of years and the last light they see so turning the soil is important to bring them to the surface triggers germination.
Once the seedbed has been prepared and an open textured tilth created which is free of debris and weeds the site specific wild flower mix can be sown this is generally done in spring or autumn. CDTS operate a full range of specialist seeding equipment either using conventional seeding methods or hydroseeding or a combination of the both. Once sown it is important to monitor the developing sward to control invasive species either by spot treatment, hand weeding or cutting.
Its important to remember that really good wild flower meadows are developed over a long period of time and during establishment it is vital that they are maintained to prevent invasive species establishing and to keep the fertility down.
We cannot emphasize enough how important that a careful initial site assessment and preparation of the seedbed prior to sowing is, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your project.