Mixture EL1 contains slow growing grasses with a selection of wild flowers that respond well to regular short mowing.
Endeavour to select ground that is not highly fertile and does not have a problem with perennial weeds. 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 level firm surface.
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.
First year management
The wild flower and grass species in this mix 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. This annual weed growth is easily controlled by repeated mowing.
Mow newly sown flowering lawns regularly (every 7 -10 days during growing season) throughout the first year of establishment. Cut to a height of 40-60mm, removing cuttings if dense. This will gradually develop a good sward structure, help maintain balance between faster growing grasses and slower developing wild flowers, and control annual weeds.
Dig out any residual perennial weeds such as docks.
Management once established
Mow regularly as a lawn but not too short (25-40mm). To permit flowering, mowing can be relaxed from late June. Cut again when the sward gets untidy (after 4-8 weeks). Mowing may be suspended earlier in the year to allow cowslips to flower. Heavy quantities of cuttings should be collected and removed from site.
EL1 is a complete mix composed of 20% wild flowers and 80% slow growing grasses (by weight). The flower and grass components are also available to order separately as EL1F for the flower component and EG1 for the grass component. For quicker establishment of grass cover EL1 may be sown with an additional 10g/m2 EG1 or lawn mixtures EG21 or EG22. Higher grass sowing rates will however reduce the time and space available for flower establishment, especially in good growing conditions.
Wild Flowers 20%