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Wildflower Management Guidelines

Wildflower Management Guidelines

Select a weed-free site of low fertility.
Fertiliser should not be used, since broad-leaved and grass weeds, together with cultivated grasses contained in standard mixtures, can be highly competitive on fertile soils. This can adversely affect seed germination, establishment and subsequent growth. However, increased grass cutting can help to counteract over-competitive growth.

Control weeds before sowing. Annual weeds may be hoed, buried or killed with a contact herbicide. Perennial weeds should be eradicated by a translocated glyphosate-based herbicide.
Sow mixtures either from early March to early May, or from early August to mid-September. This will ensure optimum establishment of most species.

Cultivate the ground to provide a fine, weed-free seed bed.
Firm if necessary. Take care to sow evenly, at the recommended rate. Thoroughly mixing one part seed with four parts dry sand makes it more easily distributed. Rake the seed in lightly with a spring-tined rake and firm the soil by treading, or preferably, rolling. This ensures that the seed comes into contact with moisture in the soil.

Water with a fine spray.
This will avoid disturbing the surface of the soil. Keep the area well-watered and free from any unwanted plants.

Cut the sward every six to eight weeks during the first year after sowing and remove the cuttings. This will prevent the grass from over growing the slower growing wildflowers.

In the following years, cut in early spring, before growth starts and in October after all wildflower seeds have been shed. Remove the cuttings.

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