Autumn sowing deadlines

The Autumnal combination of warm soils and plenty of moisture in the soil provides ideal conditions for seed germination of both wild flowers and grasses.

September 2019 has been warm, but rather dry in some regions.  If you can make a reasonable seedbed do not delay autumn sowing: Seed sown on to dry soils will be in place poised to germinate at the first opportunity once rain arrives.

Grass seedling emergence

These grasses sown in our trials field emerged 14 days after sowing.


Sowing of wild flowers and grass seed can safely continue for as long as the favourable autumn weather lasts.  In most years and on most sites it is possible to sow with success up to the end of October.

Native wild plants are hardy, adapted to our climate and can survive most frosts. Young plants are however not so tolerant of water-logging. Late sowing is safest on free draining soils. Soils and sites that are prone to flooding are more risky - sowing in these circumstances is best postponed until spring.

October is a good month for sowing seeds into existing grass as growth and competition from the existing vegetation begins 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 23 September 2019,
Category: Advice

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