Wildlife Gardening with Paul Peace

Wildlife gardening - timely advice throughout the year, projects etc. Information on wild flowers, birds, butterflies, bumblebees, mason bees, ladybirds, lacewings, frogs, etc. If it's to do with garden wildlife, you will find it here!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Battling for life in the fields

Now is the last chance to sow cornfield annuals. They look wonderful en masse as a meadow. Cornfield annuals, such as poppies, corn marigold, corn buttercup, scentless mayweed and cornflower are native wild flowers that cope well with life in regularly ploughed fields. Surviving in this environment means being able to go through their lifecycle rapidly before they get ploughed out. Cornfield annuals grow fast and flower and set seed in one season, hence ‘annual’. They often need disturbed soil to kick-start germination. Each year the Poppy Appeal reminds us of the soldiers who churned up fields during wartime resulting in mass germination of poppies. Sow the seed at a rate of 5-10g/m2. Some seeds need frost action over winter to stimulate germination so expect to see these flower next year. Unlike most wild flower meadows, which require a nutrient-poor soil, cornfield annuals can be grown on rich soils.

For more wildlife gardening advice, ebooks, information, projects and jokes please visit: www.thewildlifegarden.co.uk


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