Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I know what meadow mixture I need?
If you are sowing into bare soil, then you need one of our complete mixtures which comprises of a range of wild flower and grass seed. The first thing you need to do is identify your soil type and then match it to one of our mixes. On our Complete Mixtures page you will find a variety of mixtures for different soils and habitats. Once selected each mixture page will give you all the information you need such as sowing rates and a full composition.
Our Flower Only Mixtures are useful for enhancing existing grassland where appropriate meadow grasses have been identified.
2. What mixture should I use if I am unsure of soil type?
If you are not sure what your soil type is, our General Purpose Meadow Mixture is suitable for all soil types.
3. How do I work out how much seed I need?
You need to measure your area in metres. This can be done by multiplying the length by the width to give you the total area in square metres or by using the measure tool on Google Maps. Times the total area by the mixtures sowing rate as shown on the mixture’s page and this will tell you how much seed you need. Below is an example using a commonly used sowing rate of 4 grams per square meter (g/m2).
Length x width = total area (10m x 10m = 100m2)
Total area x sowing rate (100 x 4 = 400g)
4. Will my meadow mixture flower in the first year?
Our meadow mixtures all contain perennial wild flower seed that start to flower from year 2. If you would like to see some colour in the first year, you can add some of our Cornfield Annuals seed. These can be added to your mixture at 2g/m2 (giving a combined sowing rate of 6g/m2). By adding this to your meadow mixture it will not only give a wonderful display of colour in the first year but they also act like a nurse crop whereby the annuals will die after being cut back, leaving space for the other flowers to grow into.
5. How do I prepare the soil and sow the seed?
On a small scale clear the site and remove any weeds, digging out perennial weeds like nettles, docks, and thistles. Rake it over and make it as level as possible as this will make it easier when it comes to cutting it. When sowing your seed make sure the area is not too wet to avoid the seed sitting in standing water.
It helps to mix the seed in an old bucket or bowl with some fine sand at a rate of 1 part seed to 2 parts sand, this will act as a carrier and help you to see where you have sown your seed. At this stage if you have decided to add some cornfield annuals then mix them in all together.
Divide your area into sections, for example into thirds or quarters and do the same with the seed. Sow one area at a time and this will give you an even distribution of the seed. After sowing your seed it is important to roll or tread in lightly ensuring good seed to soil contact.
6. When is the latest time in the Spring or Autumn to sow a meadow?
Spring sowing can be done from Mid-March to the end of May but as our climates are changing with hotter dry springs, this needs to be adjusted according to the weather. If you can irrigate the site, then sowings towards the end of May is ok, if irrigation is not possible then an autumn sowing would be better.
Autumn sowings can be done between September to November if the site is free draining and the weather is mild. The seed just needs to germinate and start putting roots down before temperatures get below freezing and the ground frosts.
7. What is the smallest area that I can create a meadow in?
There are no right or wrong answers to this question but the smallest area that would be achievable is 25m2, areas smaller than this may compromise the range of species.
8. When do I cut the meadow?
Any meadow big or small needs correct management. It needs to be cut down at the end of July/early August every year. It is ok to leave the cuttings to die for a week or so and then they should be cleared. After the initial cut once it has greened up again you can continue mowing throughout the winter. If you wish to do another mow in early spring to tidy it up then adjust your mower blade to the highest cut as mowing too short can damage any yellow rattle as it starts to germinate around early March.
9. How do I sow Yellow Rattle & why do I need it?
Yellow Rattle plays an important role in helping to develop your meadow and is sometimes known as the ‘meadow maker’. Its job is to slow the growth of grass down and as it’s an annual, when it dies it leaves space for the wild flowers to grow into.
It should be sown between August and December as it needs a period of cold weather to trigger germination. This can be sown into existing grass using the restoration method or into a clean seedbed as part of a meadow mixture.
The restoration method we recommend:
- CUT: Cut and remove vegetation in mid-summer
- SCARIFY: Scarify in late summer to create ±50% bare soil
- SURFACE SOW: Broadcast the seed as part of a mixture or on its own in the autumn
- ROLL: Roll or tread to give good seed/soil contact
When sowing into a clean seed bed we recommend:
- CULTIVATE: Cultivate to achieve a weed free seedbed, aiming for a medium/fine tilth
- SURFACE SOW: Broadcast the seed as part of a meadow mixture in the autumn
- ROLL: Roll or tread to give good seed/soil contact
10. Can I sow wildflower seed into existing grass & how do I do that?
Yes, you can and the best time to do this is in the Autumn. The reason for this is that the existing grass growth is slowing down and will allow the flower seed to germinate without the vigorous grass growth like you get in the spring. Firstly, cut the grass quite short and scarify or chain harrow, exposing up to 50% of soil. Use our Flower Only Mixtures and select the one suited to your soil type. If you are not sure of the soil type, then mixture EM3F has a wide range of species that are suitable for most soil types.
11. Why is my meadow dominated by Oxeye Daisy?
It is usual for Oxeye Daisy to dominate in the first few years. It is a species that is quick to germinate and likes most soil conditions and it always seems to be the one to win the race! By cutting it back at the end of July each year the meadow will start to establish and the Oxeye Daisy should start to take a step back as time goes by and other species should start to appear.
12. Why has my meadow reverted to grass?
This sometimes happens when the site is too fertile or if phosphorus levels are too high. It is worth doing a soil test to check the soil pH and other nutrient levels. Another reason may be is because your meadow has not been managed properly. It needs to be cut every year at the end of July/early August and in the early years it should be cut and cleared. It is important to get yellow rattle established which will help slow grass growth and open the sword, creating space for flowers to grow into.
13. I’ve received my invoice via email but not had my order delivered
On the day your order is despatched you will be sent an invoice by email. If your order is over £50 or 2kg then it is collected by our couriers and delivered the next working day and you should receive a notification from our couriers APC. If your order is under £50 and 2kg then it will be despatched by Royal Mail first class post, and this can take up to 5 working days to arrive depending on the post in your area.