Catherine Burgess talks about creating a wildflower patch:
Since last summer we’ve been trying to create a wildflower meadow. A meadow maybe a bit grand a term – wildflower patch is more appropriate for our 5 x 5 metre plot. So far we’ve succeeded in growing Oxeye daisies, Black knapweed, a single Devil’s bit scabious and lots of yarrow from the occasional seedhead collected locally on walks.
As the grass is still quite dominant we thought we’d try and establish some yellow rattle to take advantage of this little annual plant ‘ s ability to parasitize on grasses. We’re hoping that yellow rattle will reduce the grass in favour of wildflowers and have the added benefit of reduc ing the amount of grass cutting.
This weekend we raked and scarified the plot to create areas of bare ground on which to sow our seeds – about 50% bare ground is ideal . I must confess to being a bit worried about the timing as you would usually sow in late summer or autumn, not the first week of December! However, I have been told that this late sow is generally okay because what is important is that the seeds must experience 3 months of cold winter temperatures to break its dormancy. Yellow rattle can take up to three years to properly establish so it maybe a while until I find out whether our late sowing has worked.