EM18 – St Catherine Mixture (limestone grassland)

Composition

EM18 St Catherine Mixture is harvested from calcareous grassland high above St Catherine Valley, just north of Bath and on the southern tip of the Cotswolds. The fields are small unimproved hay meadows on thin droughty soils over limestone.

Wild Flowers

% Latin name Common name
2 Centaurea nigra Common Knapweed
1.3 Crepis capillaris Smooth Hawksbeard
3 Hypochaeris radicata Catsear
5.5 Leontodon hispidus Rough Hawkbit
4.5 Leucanthemum vulgare Oxeye Daisy
6.2 Linum catharticum Fairy Flax
1.2 Lotus corniculatus Birdsfoot Trefoil
2 Medicago lupulina Black Medick
2.5 Plantago lanceolata Ribwort Plantain
0.8 Primula veris Cowslip
1 Prunella vulgaris Selfheal
3 Ranunculus acris Meadow Buttercup
0.6 Ranunculus bulbosus Bulbous Buttercup
8.5 Rhinanthus minor Yellow Rattle
0.4 Tragopogon pratensis Goat's-beard
2.4 Trifolium pratense Wild Red Clover
44.9

Grasses

% Latin name Common name
5 Anthoxanthum odoratum Sweet Vernal-grass (w)
10.2 Briza media Quaking Grass (w)
12.6 Bromopsis erecta Upright Brome (w)
8.3 Carex flacca Glaucous Sedge
8 Cynosurus cristatus Crested Dogstail (w)
2 Dactylis glomerata Cocksfoot (w)
3 Festuca rubra Red Fescue (w)
1 Holcus lanatus Yorkshire Fog
5 Lolium perenne Perennial Ryegrass (w)
55.1

Sowing Rates

kg/ha kg/acre g/m2 Order Mixture
40 16 4 Order this mixture

nb Wild meadow mixtures are harvested directly from wild sites and are therefore more variable than our other mixtures. Based on several years of analysis we present the main composition by seed number of species present in a typical harvest. The actual composition of each harvest will in fact vary and will include small amounts of a wide range of species that do not appear in the analysis. EM18 is very rich in flower seed.

Growing guide

Ground preparation

Endeavour to select ground that is not highly fertile and does not have a problem with perennial weeds. The lime loving species in this mixture will thrive on shallow soils with a high limestone or chalk content.

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)

Sowing

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)

Aftercare

First year management

Most sown meadow wild flower and grass species are perennial; they will be slow to germinate and grow and will not usually flower in their first growing season. There will often be a flush of annual weeds from the soil in the first growing season which may grow up and obscure the meadow seedlings beneath. This annual weed growth is easily controlled by topping or mowing.

Mow newly sown meadows regularly throughout the first year of establishment to a height of 40-60mm, removing cuttings if dense.  This will control annual weeds and help maintain balance between faster growing grasses and slower developing wild flowers.

Avoid cutting in the spring and early summer if the mixture has been sown with a nurse cover of cornfield annuals, or is autumn sown and contains Yellow Rattle. These sown annuals should be allowed to flower, then in mid-summer cut back and the cut vegetation removed. It is important to cut back cornfield annuals before they die back, set seed or collapse: this cut will reveal the developing meadow mixture and give it the space it needs to develop.

Carefully dig out or spot treat any residual perennial weeds such as docks.

For more detail see grassland management

Management once established

In the second and subsequent years EM18 sowings can be managed in a number of ways which, in association with soil fertility, will determine the character of the grassland.

On poor shallow soils one or two cuts at the end of the summer, or occasional light grazing, may be all that is required to maintain diversity and interest.

On deeper soils best results are usually obtained by traditional meadow management based around a main summer hay cut in combination with autumn and possibly spring mowing or grazing. Meadow grassland is not cut or grazed from spring through to late July/August to give the sown species an opportunity to flower.


After flowering in July or August take a 'hay cut': cut back with a scythe, petrol strimmer or tractor mower to c 50mm. Leave the 'hay' to dry and shed seed for 1-7 days then remove from site.

Mow or graze the re-growth through to late autumn/winter to c 50mm and again in spring if needed.

(more on grassland management)

 

Ordering

You can order any quantity of this mixture from 0.1kg up to 100kg. Please contact us if you require more.

nb: 1000g = 1kg, 100g = 0.1kg

Prices include p&p to most mainland destinations, more on delivery charges.

Prices

£/100kg £4,752.00
£/10kg £496.80
£/1kg £54.00
£/100g £6.40

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