EM6 – Meadow Mixture for Chalk and Limestone Soils

Composition

This rich mixture is suitable for sowing onto thin lime-rich soils of low fertility and with a significant chalk or limestone content. Sowing EM6 directly onto exposed chalk or limestone can produce some of the most interesting results; establishment will be slower than on well developed soils, but less management will be needed.

Wild Flowers

% Latin name Common name
0.1 Achillea millefolium Yarrow
1.5 Agrimonia eupatoria Agrimony
3 Anthyllis vulneraria Kidney Vetch
1.4 Betonica officinalis - (Stachys officinalis) Betony
3 Centaurea nigra Common Knapweed
0.2 Centaurea scabiosa Greater Knapweed
0.2 Filipendula vulgaris Dropwort
0.5 Galium album - (Galium mollugo) Hedge Bedstraw
0.5 Galium verum Lady's Bedstraw
0.1 Hippocrepis comosa Horseshoe Vetch
0.2 Leontodon hispidus Rough Hawkbit
1 Leucanthemum vulgare Oxeye Daisy - (Moon Daisy)
1 Lotus corniculatus Birdsfoot Trefoil
0.2 Origanum vulgare Wild Marjoram
1.5 Plantago lanceolata Ribwort Plantain
0.2 Poterium sanguisorba - (Sanguisorba minor) Salad Burnet
0.3 Primula veris Cowslip
0.2 Prunella vulgaris Selfheal
1 Ranunculus acris Meadow Buttercup
0.2 Rumex acetosa Common Sorrel
0.5 Scabiosa columbaria Small Scabious
0.2 Silene vulgaris Bladder Campion
3 Vicia cracca Tufted Vetch
20

Grasses

% Latin name Common name
4 Briza media Quaking Grass (w)
2 Carex flacca Glaucous Sedge
24 Cynosurus cristatus Crested Dogstail
24 Festuca ovina Sheep's Fescue
20 Festuca rubra Red Fescue
2 Koeleria macrantha Crested Hair-grass (w)
2 Phleum bertolonii Smaller Cat's-tail (w)
2 Trisetum flavescens Yellow Oat-grass (w)
80

Sowing Rates

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

Growing guide

Ground preparation

Endeavour to select ground that is not highly fertile and does not have a problem with perennial weeds. The true lime loving species in this mixture will only thrive on the thinnest soils with a high limestone or chalk content, where soil poverty can moderate competition from more vigorous species. Some experimental landscaping schemes have produced successful results using bulk imports of 'soil forming materials' with a high lime content such as rock chalk or crushed concrete.

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. 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 of the sown meadow species are perennial and are slow to establish. Soon after sowing there will be a flush of annual weeds, arising from the soil seed bank. These weeds can look unsightly, but they will offer shelter to the sown seedlings, are great for bugs, and they will die before the year is out. So resist cutting the annual weeds until mid to late summer, especially if the mixture contains Yellow Rattle, or has been sown with a nurse of cornfield annuals. Then cut, remove and compost. Early August is a good time. This will reveal the young meadow, which can then be kept short by grazing or mowing through to the end of March of the following year.

Dig out any residual perennial weeds such as docks.

For more detail see grassland management

Management once established

In the second and subsequent years EM6 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)

 

EM6 is a complete mix composed of 20% native wild flowers and 80% slow growing grasses (by weight). The flower and grass components are also available to order separately as EM6F for the flower component and EG6 for the grass component.

 

Note: Sorry, this mixture is currently unavailable.

Ordering

Please use the form below to order this mixture.

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

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

Prices

£/100kg £6,318.00
£/10kg £702.00
£/1kg £78.00
£/100g £12.00