How to cre­ate a wild flower meadow

Country Smallholding - - Feature Wild Flowers -

It’s best to work with ex­ist­ing grass­land, which for all you know might al­ready be teem­ing with na­tive wild flower seed just wait­ing for the op­por­tu­nity to blos­som and thrive.

Wild flow­ers pre­fer less fer­tile soil, so the first rec­om­mended step to en­cour­ag­ing them is to stop ap­ply­ing any fer­tiliser or silage to your cho­sen field or space. You can still use it for graz­ing dur­ing this time, but do bear in mind that you won’t get a wild flower meadow straight away. Yel­low rat­tle can help speed up the process of trans­for­ma­tion very suc­cess­fully as it works to re­duce the strength of the grasses, thereby grad­u­ally en­abling other more del­i­cate plants to move in and thrive.

You can also add wild flower seed of your choos­ing or wait to see what pops up nat­u­rally over time. If you then fancy adding some other va­ri­eties to the mix, then so be it. Plug plants are best used when the meadow has been es­tab­lished a few years and you’re into the swing of things.

You can use it then as a hay field or for healthy live­stock graz­ing (or both) as they do at the Botanic Gar­dens of Wales’ Waun Las with their herd of Welsh Black cat­tle.

The key is to make sure you are af­ford­ing the flow­ers the op­por­tu­nity to grow and set seed for the fol­low­ing years. A wild flower meadow won’t hap­pen overnight, but if you’ve ever seen one in full bloom, you’ll know that it’s a sight well worth wait­ing for…

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