EG10 – Tussock grass mixture
This mixture has been devised to create areas of tussocky grassland that, once established, require little or no maintenance. This grassland type can form a good habitat for insects, small mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles, providing nesting sites during spring, food during summer and autumn, and shelter during winter.
|50||20||5||Order this mixture|
Ideally select ground that is not highly fertile and does not have a problem with perennial weeds (especially grass weeds like couch). Good preparation is essential to success so aim to control weeds and produce a good quality seed bed before sowing.
To prepare a seed bed first remove weeds using repeated cultivation or a herbicide. Then plough or dig to bury the surface vegetation, harrow or rake to produce a medium tilth, and roll or tread to produce a firm surface. (more on preparation)
Seed is best sown in the autumn or spring but can be sown at other times of the year if there is sufficient warmth and moisture. The seed must be surface sown and can be applied by machine or broadcast by hand. To get an even distribution and avoid running out, divide the seed into two or more parts and sow in overlapping sections. Do not incorporate or cover the seed, but firm in with a roll, or by treading, to give good soil/seed contact. (more on sowing)
First year management
Growth and establishment of wild grasses may be slow initially, especially at low sowing rates (2-5g/m2). There will often be a flush of annual weeds from the soil in the first growing season. This weed growth is easily controlled by topping or mowing.
Mow regularly until the sown grasses are well established.
Management once established
Once established, tussocky grassland requires minimal maintenance.
Unwanted perennial weeds (docks, thistles) may need control by occasional spot treatment with a herbicide. To control scrub and bramble development, tussocky areas may need cutting every 2-3 years, between October and February. For wildlife this cutting is best done on a rotational basis so that no more than half the area is cut in any one year leaving part as an undisturbed refuge.
Generally when sowing EG10 grasses without wild flowers the sowing rate may be increased to 10-15g/m2 without compromising the development of diversity.