Sowing the orchard meadow


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My birthday today, and as a present I received 1kg of wildflower seed. In anticipation, I had cut the orchard grass very short, exposing some bare patches, so I hope the seed germinates OK next year. The seed mixture was EM3F from Emorsgate (wildseed.co.uk) and follows on from sowing the yellow rattle seed a few years earlier in order to reduce the vigour of the grass – thanks to Richard of Emorsgate for the helpful advice.

The seed mix contains over 20 different species, including buttercups, cowslips, knapweed, red campion, ragged robin, meadowsweet and clover. While I hope some will germinate and flower next year, others may take a little while longer to emerge. In addition, after scything the meadow this year, I endeavoured to spread the yellow rattle seed around a bit more. From now on, the management of the sward will mostly be a scythe cut in August, then keeping the grass cut until after the apples have been picked. See the post on orchard floor management for more details on all of this.