Autumn sowing deadlines

There is still time to sow wild flower and meadow seed mixtures. The current long spell of fine settled weather over much of Britain means that autumn sowings should continue to be possible right through to the end of October.


Sowings of wild flowers and grass seed can safely continue in most years, and on most sites, until the end of October - native wild plants are hardy and adapted to our climate. Later sowings are safest on free draining soils. Soils and sites that are prone to flooding are more risky: sowings in these circumstances are better postponed until spring.

Here in Norfolk we have had very little rain at all over the last two months. This autumn's drought means that our seedbeds remain dry and the grass in our meadow is not growing. Germination and establishment of our sowings have been delayed as a consequence but we are confident that our seed will ‘wait' patiently until rain or heavy dews deliver the moisture they require.

In dry areas early and late sowings will probably end up emerging together. In situations where autumn emergence is delayed you will observe that some seeds will continue to germinate through the winter, whilst others will have their germination postponed until the spring.

October is a good month for sowing seeds into existing grass as growth and competition from the existing vegetation begin to slow as winter approaches. This also means that the all important gaps created for the seeds to grow into will last without becoming overgrown.

Yellow Rattle can be scattered into prepared grassland at any time in the Autumn. The last sowing date for Yellow Rattle is Christmas.



Posted on 10 October 2009,
Category: Advice