Wild Flower Seed Rates What & Why
The following is an explanation as to what grass and wild flower seed rates are and why they are at that level.
Lawn seed is normally sown for a new lawn at about 40 grams to the sq metre and at about 20 grams to the sq metre for over seeding. This the equivalent to about 160 kilos to the acre and 80 kilos to the acre.
When sowing a grass field for horses the seed rate is about 13 kilos to the acre. This is the equivalent of about 3.5 grams to the square metre.
A dramatically lower rate than for sowing lawn seed. This though is not too surprising. When sowing a lawn, it is generally a small area. You want the lawn to establish quickly with no or few gaps and to cover the ground thoroughly. When sowing large areas commercial reasons must come into play i.e the cost of the seed. With horses, you can afford to wait for the grass to grow and tiller out, which it does naturally, and fill in any gaps.
Wild flower meadow seed we recommend a seed rate of 4 grams to the sq metre. Most advice is for seed rates of between and 3 and 5 grams to the sq metre. On a large area, we suggest the lower seed rate of 3 grams meaning you would sow a meadow mix at 12 kilos to the acre.
The seed rate for cornfield annuals is 2 grams to the sq metre. For wild flower perennials, it is 1.5 grams.
Why So Low
So why are the seed rates for wild flowers 10% and less than those of lawn seed. Just as you want lawn seed to grow quickly and thickly you need to make sure there is space for the wild flowers to grow and flourish.
Sow Extra Seed
Sometimes the temptation is to think the seed rate is too little and that you will get a better effect if you sow more. The opposite may be true in that if you increase the seed rate too much you may get less. You may get grass dominating or maybe only one or two wild flower species taking over.
Don’t Want Grass
The wild flower meadow mixes are sown based on 80% grass and 20% wild flowers. A common concern is that customers want more wild flowers and worry that they will get all grass. The following points are worth noting.
- If sowing on to bare soil we generally suggest sowing a meadow mix, grass and wild flowers, this is because the wild flower perennials do best if they have grass as a back drop. If there is no grass the wild flowers can look like a patch of weeds when not in flower.
- When sowing one of these mixes you are sowing about 3.2 grams of grass seed per sq metre as against 40 grams if you were sowing a lawn.
- The grass species are fine meadow grasses which are generally not so competitive.
- Lastly a single wild flower seed can grow into a large plant. Grass seed whilst it can grow tall does not as an individual plant have much width.
The percentages are designed to give you a wild flower meadow that will come back year after year. The perennials growing with grass as a back drop.
We hope that this information is of interest and helps. If you need any more advice please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Freephone 0800 0854399