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Cell Grown Wildflowers

Wildflower

We are often getting questions about Wildflowers, so as it is the season for them I thought I would take this opportunity to go over them with you.

At Buy Trees Online we are growing Cell Grown Wildflowers, otherwise difficult to establish from seed that can be confidently planted into a variety of situations, with complete root systems and enhanced stability.

The advantages of Cell Grown Wildflowers over seeds are their predictability and reliability, whilst their use provides far greater control over plant location and the ratio between species. Cell Grown Wildflowers also mature more rapidly than when introduced from seed to the flowering and propagating stage.

Why choose Wildflowers over Traditional Groundcovers?

Wildflowers are a long term money saving and ecology promoting alternative to traditional groundcovers such as annual beddings, shrubs or grass.

Annuals can give a hit of Pollen and colour, equivalent to a fizzy energy drink, but lack the balanced diet for long term habitat health. Wildflowers are visually attractive, their colours changing with the season, giving great sensory appeal also. They provide greater long term ecological support to insects, bird life, and the wider community, their benefits used to encourage and sustain our diminishing bee populations.

Wildflowers are cheaper to maintain than close mown grass, or annual replacements. They need to be cut only twice in late summer and once in spring, making their cost of establishment and maintenance cheaper than grass over a three year period.

Conservation

With a conservation concern that one third of our Native Wildflowers are edging towards extinction it is great to see interest in them, helping to re-establish the mosaic of wildflower species and natural colour that exist in nature.

In many inner urban areas the seed bank has been suppressed for so long that there is insufficient latent seed for natural regeneration to be successful. To help natural colonisation in these areas we would recommend five colourful species of local provenance, such as Oxeye Daisy and Yellow Rattle. Yellow Rattle is semi parasitic on aggressive grass species such as Perennial Rye Grass, reducing its vigour, creating space for Wild Flowers to arrive. There is no need to replicate complete national vegetation types, as over time, additional species will appear.

Planting

In order to mimic the mosaics of species that exist in nature, introduced species should be clustered in groups instead of being spread through a site as discrete individuals. Close planting facilitates pollination and therefore seed production. Densities of 6-9 plants/m2 are considered suitable for introductions in most planting areas.

Management

Meadows are usually managed in one of two ways, depending on when most of the plants flower.

- Spring flowering meadows are not mowed until after midsummer, then kept short into the
Autumn.

- Summer flowering meadows are mowed in the spring up until about June, then
left to flower until late autumn.

In both cases mowing is resumed once most of the seed is ripe. Leaving the hay on the ground for a few days helps shed the seed back into the meadow. After this the hay should be removed, to help lower soil fertility.

01 September 2014 at 10:57 / Comment

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