ESF3 – Legume pollen and nectar Flower mix
This mixture provides a relatively low cost way to supply an abundant supply of pollen and nectar-rich flowers between early and late summer for pollinating insects. These cultivated varieties are quick to establish but are of short persistence. To maintain a pollen and nectar source for more than 3– 4 years they need to be resown periodically, or sown with longer lasting perennials.
|%||Latin name||Common name|
|20||Lotus corniculatus||Birdsfoot Trefoil|
|15||Trifolium hybridum||Alsike Clover|
|25||Trifolium pratense||Red Clover|
|12||5||1.2||Order this mixture|
Countryside stewardship option AB1 nectar flower mix requires the establishment of at least two long-lived perennials with a cultivated legume mix. For best results we recommend adding to this ESF3 mix up to 2kg/ha mix ESF2 which contains a selection of long-lived perennial wild flowers, or, to meet basic requirements 100g per ha each of two perennials such as knapweed, selfheal, tufted vetch or musk mallow
Select ground that does not have a problem with perennial weeds such as creeping thistle. Good preparation is essential to success so aim to control weeds and produce a good quality seedbed before sowing. Roll fluffy or dry seedbeds with a ring roll to consolidate before sowing.
Sow between 15 March and 30 April or 15 July to 30 August to comply with stewardship requirements, and to avoid slug and frost damage which cultivated clovers are more susceptible to if sown later.
The seed must be surface sown by broadcasting by machine hand (not drilled).
Do not incorporate or cover the seed but firm in with a ring roll (more on sowing)
First year management
Cut emerging plants and weeds between 2 and 4 times during their first year. This Regular cutting will help control the inevitable flush of annual weeds growing from the soil in the first growing season, and help the establishment of sown species.
Well established plots can be grazed from 1 September until 14 March if ground conditions permit.
Management once established
To meet the requirements of Countryside Stewardship the cutting regime of legume plots should be split. The idea of this is to extend the overall flowering season of pollen and nectar rich flowers through the summer, (rather than it all flower together over a short period).
Rotationally cut 50% of the plot area each year between 15 April and 31 May; but don't spring cut the same area in successive years.
Cut the whole area each year between 15 September and 30 March, removing or shredding cuttings to avoid patches of dead material developing.
Agricultural legumes are short-lived; after 3 - 4 years they will disappear. As the legumes decline the spaces they leave tend to get invaded by thistles, grasses and other weeds.
For years 4 and 5 and onwards the provision of pollen and nectar will depend on having sufficient long-lived perennials established which must be included with the mix sown in year 1.
When ordering this ESF3 mix for Countryside stewardship option AB1 nectar flower mix add in up to 2kg/ha mix ESF2 (which contains a selection of long-lived perennial wild flowers), or, to meet basic requirements 100g per ha each of at least two perennials such as knapweed, selfheal, tufted vetch or musk mallow. Aim for a combined total sowing rate of 12kg/ha to comply with stewardship requirements.