General Advice for Planting
The chosen site for planting should be well prepared before sowing. Please ensure the landlord’s permission has been granted prior to planting. Clear any weeds, digging out roots where necessary by hand, or if preferred, a weed suppressant membrane, such as black plastic or even old carpet, can be placed on the site 3 months prior to sowing. Wherever possible chemical weed killers should be avoided.
Once the area is clear of weeds, dig over and rake to a fine tilth and allow the soil to ‘sit’ for 4 – 6 weeks if possible, clearing any new weed growth as it appears.
Recommended sowing rate is between 1g – 5g per sq m: 1g for pure flower seed, 5 g per for flower/grass seed mixes. Seeds can be sown by hand quite evenly by sowing half lengthways, followed by half widthways.
Rake lightly and firm the soil gently after sowing.
Protect the site from birds if necessary with netting until germination.
Water as necessary but do not over water.
Cornfield annuals can be sown either in spring (mid-March to mid-April) or in in autumn (mid-August to mid-September) and can grow easily in rich fertile soils. Seeds generally take 10 – 12 weeks to flower after sowing. Annuals will flower for one year only so to encourage growth the following year, dig the ground over in the autumn and remove any weeds, by hand, as required.
Perennials are sown either in spring (mid-March to end of May) or in autumn (mid-August to mid-October) and prefer poorer soils. If the required site has rich and fertile soil, perennials can still flourish but the removal of the top soil layer is recommended by either digging, or rotovating. Cut down the plants in autumn and, once established, perennials will come back year after year.
The RHS website is a great resource to refer to for sowing flower or grass seeds. For further advice, please go to www.rhs.org.uk.