It is important that the correct mixture is selected to coincide with the Soil type and drainage characteristics of each site.
The aim is to produce a firm weed-free tilth to promote healthy germination. Subsoils often provide weed-free areas with a low nutrient status and are therefore suitable for wild flora planting. It is occasionally necessary to remove the topsoil in areas of high fertility (this can be sold to raise revenue) as these soils end to promote the growth of more vigorous grasses and pernicious weeds. To remove docks, thistles, nettles and weed grasses; the site should be treated with a systemic herbicide (following the manufacturers instructions) prior to seed bed cultivation.
Sowing can take place throughout most of the year, providing a good tilth can be prepared, however he months of March/April and August/September are generally the most suitable.
The requirement in the first year is to control weeds and reduce competition from grasses. Cut the sward to a height of 5cm every two months or when the sward reaches 15cm. Remove all cut material to avoid smothering the sward. Where persistent weeds are a problem, spot treat with herbicide or dig-out.
The sward should be well established after the first 12 months and contain a diverse range of species. Cut to 7.5cm during March/April and remove cuttings. The second cut should take place at the end of the flowering season during August/September (the flowering period may alter slightly according to climatic conditions) Remove all cuttings or use as hay. The site may require further cuts in the autumn period to remove untidy growth in an extended growing season.
First cut 5 cm March/April (spring seeding 1st cut in May)
Cut every 2 months or when sward reaches 15cm
Final cut September/October
Remove all cuttings
First cut 7.5cm March/April (if necessary)
Second cut 7.5cm August/October
Remove all cuttings
Make the first cut in early March and a second cut once the flowering period is over – September/October
Harrow autumn or spring to regenerate annuals