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  • Writer's pictureAlistair

Ploughing on (and seeding) with the Tamworths

The last weekend in January was the occasion of a much delayed wildflower seed sowing session. These were the seeds collected in the harvester purchased last year and used in August. The seeds were dried in the sun and then over wintered in a barn. I am nervous on a couple of counts.


Firstly, I’d kept the seeds in plastic buckets. This may have been a mistake as while the buckets were open (with a metal mesh over the top, protecting the content from any hungry critter), I fear that they may have held the damp and perhaps I would have been better using the double walled paper bags designed for the job.


Secondly, this really should have been done in December. But the weather got in the way … we had snow which meant I could not get my neighbour Robert to mow and mess up the fields I was planning to seed. Some seeds don’t last so well, so this reduces likelihood of success.


I’ve been advised that the yellow rattle may not have made it, but other seeds may have faired better. Only time will tell … I just hope that I haven’t totally blown it!


Robert topped (mowed) two fields, the one we seeded with wildflowers last year and its neighbour, where I plan to sow the collected seed. The idea is to cut the grass very low to give the wildflowers a chance to break through and also to create a bit of a mess with bare earth to give the seeds space. The fields are actually drier than I imagined so the result is a little less mess than I’d have liked.



Now of course I also have an alternative to Robert and his topper … the Tamworth two. They have been creating bare patches and clearing grass as they rootle around. So I decide to seed a couple of areas in two fields where they have been in action.



I scatter eight buckets of seeds. I can't claim that my method is very scientific ... I am a bit lighter than the recommended 8 to 10 kg per acre. Let's see … fingers crossed!



The disc like seeds with the black centres are yellow rattle ... most useful as a grass parasite but, sadly, perhaps least likely to have made it through the winter with my storage solution

A postscript, as I write we have a frost this morning which should help get them ready for germination



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