Bee/Butterfly/Bird Wild Flower Mix
This pollinator mix is a combination of annual, biennial and perennial flowers. It is a pure wild flower seed mix containing only wild flower seed of native Irish origin. There are 19 species included spanning the summer to give pollinators something to feed on all season. There is something here for all sizes of pollinator. As a general guide 1g of seed per square metre is sufficient.
|Species||Common name||% flowers|
|Centaurea nigra||Black Knapweed||4|
|Dipsacus fullonum||Wild Teasel||7|
|Eupatorium cannabinum||Hemp Agrimony||4|
|Galium verum||Lady’s Bedstraw||1|
|Knautia arvensis||Field Scabious||5|
|Lamium purpureum||Red-dead Nettle||3|
|Lathyrus pratensis||Meadow Vetchling||3|
|Leucanthemum vulgare||Ox-eye daisy||2|
|Papaver dubium||Long-podded Poppy||9|
|Silene dioica||Red Campion||15|
|Vicia cracca||Tufted Vetch||2|
Seed bed preperation.
Remove existing vegetation and create a clean weed free seed bed with a fine tilth. This can be done in several ways and will depend on your site. Depending on the size you might want to plough the ground then rotavate, or simply dig over a smaller patch. It is possible to remove the existing top layer of soil to remove vegetation and the weed seeds in the soil. A depth of soil is best between 10- 30 cms. If you think weed seeds might still be present you can leave it as a stale seed bed then as the weed seeds germinate, dig them in to kill them, before sowing your wild flower seed mix. If the bed is dry give it a good soaking, or maybe water gently a few of times, you can test that the moisture goes way below the surface by digging in and checking. Make sure there’s no surface water, so that you’re sowing the seed into moist soil of small particles.
The seeds can be sown in spring from March to June, or in autumn in September/October. Make sure your mix is stirred up as small seeds can settle to the bottom, you can mix the seed with 50% sand to bulk it up and make it easier to spread evenly. If you’re not sure of the sowing rate for your area, you can divide your mixture into half or quarter and spread accordingly onto your area, this way you should get a more even spread and avoid running out of seed before you have the area covered. To broadcast your seeds use a flowing movement of your arm and release the seeds evenly as you move. You can practice with just sand beforehand to get the knack.
Settling the seed in.
After you’ve sown all your seed in the area you might want to lightly rake it in, but you don’t want to bury it, then roll or tramp it gently into the soil so that it makes good contact with the damp soil and can start to absorb moisture.
As with a grass lawn, birds and other animals need to be kept off it until the seed has germinated, this can be done with netting or fleece, as long as light and moisture can still pass through.
It can be a good idea to watch the weather before sowing and try to time sowing before a spell of cool damp wet weather. If it looks like you’ve been unlucky and hit a dry spell, and if you start to water by hand, then you’ll need to keep watering and keep the seed bed moist at all times. Water gently with a fine spray, so seedlings aren’t bounced out of the soil surface by big drops.
Your wild flowers will germinate at different rates. In the first year you’ll see the annuals dominate the patch, subsequently the biennials and eventually the perennials will dominate. Your meadow is a living entity and will develop in its own way depending on your particular conditions. The care you give it will determine how it turns out. If you can keep weeds and grasses out, the wild flower plants will grow to maturity. They will self seed as long as you allow time for the seeds to set and fall out. All the seeds are open pollinated which enables you to save seed for projects elsewhere.
All plants need nutrients, light and water to grow, but the trouble with high fertility is that the grasses get away and can easily smother out your wild flowers, so grass is a particular problem that is often managed by keeping fertility low.
Your wild flower area will benefit from being cut or grazed occasionally and usually after the second year and after the seed has set in December/January, whenever you can get on the ground with the weather. Lift away material as it could choke the plants for next year. The cut should not be so low as to damage your plants, you’ll need to judge yourself, but around 10cms should be alright. After the first year you could do a check and take out weeds and grasses by hand.
If there are other species you’d like to see in your meadow as time passes you can grow out individuals and plant them in by hand once they’re large enough.
Please note if we run short on any of the species we’ll substitute with more or less of other species. Anything substantially different and we’ll get in touch with you first.