Autumn in Fermanagh…Sowing Time!

 

On the video clip are just some of the sites we are enhancing and have restored in autumn 2016 for Save Our Magnificent Meadows. But why is autumn sowing so important? Why not wait until the spring?

 

To restore wildflower meadows we usually sow a yellow hay rattle based seed mix. The parasitic nature of this clever plant reduces the vigour of more competitive grasses and legumes, thereby allowing other more delicate wildflowers to flourish.  Although these seeds, aided by increased light levels, germinate in springtime, they need a period of cold weather to break dormancy. With the grass cut in late summer, followed by aftermath grazing to utilise re-growth and remove rank vegetation, autumn is the time to sow.

 

The drill we use ensures good seed-to-soil contact in the gaps between grass tufts, though if land conditions allow, an element of late autumn grazing can achieve the same effect with the help of hooves.  Scattering hay rattle by hand or seed fiddle, then tramping with human ‘hooves’ is equally effective. So as the cold weather bites, autumn sowing allows us all to look forward to a more colourful and wildlife rich spring!

 

Giles and Eva

 

 

Comments

  • ANNE DYER on

    Giles and Eva
    Do you remember me speaking to you about having a go at the large field behind the house where we currently live? What I have done for this year is to concentrate on a “boggy” area in the middle of it where nothing would grow apart from rushes. Not having the time or resources to strip the top off we created some drainage channels and used a flame gun to weaken the rushes, then spread a layer of soil and chippings similar to what we used on the roof of the earth sheltered units . The yellow rattle seeds which I had collected from the roof I then scattered over the area. It will be interesting to see what we get next year.

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    • admin on

      That is great Anne! I can’t wait to see the results next year!

      Eva

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  • Martina on

    fingers crossed for all the seeds to become flowers 🙂

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  • Florene on

    Late Summer Early Autumn – Either sowing method may be used although it is always preferable to sow small or fine seeds in flats, pots or trays and when the seedlings become strong enough, transplant to the garden in Autumn.

    reply

  • anhrinfo.com on

    Late Summer Early Autumn – Either sowing method may be used although it is always preferable to sow small or fine seeds in flats, pots or trays and when the seedlings become strong enough, transplant to the garden in Autumn.

    reply

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