Q How important is weed control in the first year?
A Very important indeed. It is not worth trying to establish a perennial meadow from seed if you cannot control the first years weed growth.
Q Do I need to irrigate?
A Yes, in most years irrigation makes a very big difference to success. If you know that irrigation is impossible, follow the earlier recommendation for Annual Meadows.
Q It looks like I just have a blanket of weeds, is there anything I can do?
A Unfortunately this sometimes happens, but don’t panic. Wait until your weeds are about 150 mm (6 inches) tall and run your mower over the whole area on the highest cut. This checks the weeds but allows the slower growing meadow to come through
Q My display has been looking great but in the recent really hot and dry weather the display is starting to go over. Is there anything that I can do?
A A If you are sure they they are getting watered as recommended. Most years the displays carry on without a check with later taller flowers masking the shorter earlier ones. Sometimes it’s just a question of giving nature a little bit more time. Even if the later flowers are less showy they will still have a lot of sparkle. If really looking tatty you can give them the ‘Chelsea chop’ which is a very high cut to knock off the seeding flower heads and stimulate a 2nd flush of growth and flowers.
Q What effect will the fertility of my soil have on the display?
A Annual Meadows thrive on normal to high fertility soils making them perfect solutions for most gardens and parks. The richer the soil though the taller and bushier the plants will be and the thinner and poorer, the opposite will happen. Normally if you grow annual meadows on the same patch of ground for more than 3 years you will see the fertility start to decrease and the emerging meadows look finer and shorter. If you suspect that the soil is very rich then it’s probably best to reduce the sowing rate a little. Equally if it’s very poor either just enjoy the daintier display or increase the sowing rate a little.
Q Do I need to protect the seed from birds, mice or possums?
Q If I’ve sown an annual meadow one year will it regrow the next year?
No, not really. Many species won’t reseed at all. Some species will but in a much more random and patchy way. If you have a fairly infertile soil though or you have experienced very little weed infestation you can though get some lovely 2nd and 3rd year displays taking place from the few species that do reseed.
Q Can I mix the annual seed with grass to make it go further?
A No. Grass is very competitive and will quickly dominate. If you want to make the mix go further you are better to decrease the sowing rate – but keep the edges close to the paths at the normal rate if you can
Q Can I mix the annual seed with perennial seed?
A No. If you are trying to establish a proper perennial meadow then do not put annual seeds with the mix. Annuals will very quickly outcompete the slower perennials and create bare patches in the sward late rin the season which will encourage weed infestation. If you want a hybrid mix that is very easy to establish and will flower happily for 2-3 years or more use our Magic Carpet’ mix