I had one of my bright ideas back in February (always a dangerous time). For a wildflower meadow. The digging was quite hard-going, and I got about a square metre in, and decided I only wanted a very little meadow anyway.
Well, I planted my plugs. It snowed. It snowed again. But guess what? They are all fine. Thriving, you might say.
So I started digging again, lifting more turf. This went into my new raised beds. And it was so easy to dig now, after all that snow and rain, that I just kept on going. And now I have dug about 10 square metres, with 5-10 to go. Remember I am very approximate. It depends on where I decide to stop.
And in the midst of all this digging, I took the occasional break. And went on Twitter. And discovered…SEEDBALLS!
Seedballs are marble-sized balls of clay and wildflower seed, with a little bit of chilli thrown in, to annoy the mice. You simply chuck them about a bit, about 20 seedballs (1 tin) per square metre, water if you like, no probs if you forget, and wait for them to germinate.
You can choose your seed mix too. There is bee mix, beetle mix, butterfly mix, bat mix (!), cloud mix (!!) Well, you can imagine the fun.
So you know what happens next.
And given that I received a free packet of wildflower seed mix with my plug plants from February, I can feel a little not-very-scientific experiment coming on!
Yes, reader. I am going to compare the success of plug plants vs seedballs vs seed mix.
Now, just to recap, my original mini-mini (nano) meadow contained 5 plugs each of:
Field scabious, lesser knapweed, musk mallow and white campion.
I have now chosen three different seedball mixes: Beetle Mix, Butterfly Mix and Sky Meadow Mix. And just for good measure, because I was enjoying the digging so much, and because I didn’t get my confirmation email and convinced myself that I hadn’t in fact ordered any of these, I did it all again, doubling the quantity of tins again (eek! That’s a lot of little tins. Have since discovered there are bulk bags! Good job my daughter always wants little tins for craft bits and pieces).
So now I also have 180 seedballs containing (in alphabetical order. You see there is the semblance of order):
Common knapweed, cornflower, cow parsley, forget-me-not, foxglove, great burnet, meadow cranesbill, more musk mallow, purple loosestrife, red campion, self-heal, wild clary and yarrow.
Thus managing to keep to my purplish white scheme! And even my free, non-chosen seed-mix complies with this. I have 25 grams of seed containing:
corn cockle (yay! love this!), more cornflower, more foxglove, ox-eye daisy, yet more musk mallow, more red campion, teasel, and more white campion.
I just checked how much seed per square metre you need, and it is 2g per square metre. I either have a lot of surplus seed, or a lot more digging to do.
Do you remember the yellow rattle? You are supposed to sow this first to suppress the grass. Only you are supposed to do this in September. So I have a lot of yellow rattle seed, which I may or may not sow in September. I suspect the sowing area needs to be cleared. I could clear even more of the grass in the allotment, sow yellow rattle, and then see what naturally self-seeds. How about it, Stevie?
By my count, I am up to 1 square metre with plugs, 9 square metres with seedballs and anything up to 12.5 square metres with seedmix.
So pop back in a few weeks to see how all this is turning out. You will of course have to wait a few more weeks after that to see pretty flowers. Hopefully there will be pretty flowers.
Do feel free to chip in with helpful meadow-growing advice. I reserve the right to merrily stuff my ears with seedballs and ignore what I don’t want to hear.
I thought I would just pop in this sunset pic because who doesn’t like a sunset? And it is purplish, like my beautiful (imaginary) meadow!
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