Sunday, 7 April 2013

Wildflower seed trial..for when the balsam goes

Today the 3 volunteers dug a small area up near the notice board on the LNR. This area is normally full of bramble and bracken. This is the exactly the same kind of habitat that dominates when we clear Himalayan balsam from an area.
bracken and bramble

In fact this was the very first site at which we pulled up balsam in the summer of 2008 (it is now balsam free). As a trial, we dug it out this morning and aim to sow a mixture of wildflower seeds straight onto this patch. hour of so later

Half of the seeds have been stratified in sand at -20degC (in the freezer) for a few days while the other half stratified in the dark in the fridge. Around the margins, which will probably have bramble and bracken growing, we will sow some untreated seeds. We can look after this very small patch quite easily, checking for germination and weeds. We will also see if the seeds can compete in a relatively untreated area, i.e. bramble and bracken rhizome-rich soil. Roll on summer and Autumn to look at the results.

We also removed some old barbed wire, which could have been harmful to dogs and removed about 1/4 bag litter from this small site.
Barbed wire partially buried and removed

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