Poppies as nurse for meadow mix

Cornfield Annuals Nurse Seed Mix

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Cornfield Annuals Nurse Seed Mix

We've found that our cornfield annuals mix is fantastic on its own, but there are a couple of things which can take over sometimes if you wanted to use it with a wildflower meadow mix. They can be quite bushy, and potentially shade out developing perennial wildflowers. 

So this is what's known as a nurse mix - so if you use it sparingly with a mix of perennials and grasses it will help stop weeds springing up, without slowing the development of other plants in your seed mix. It will also give you colour in the first year of establishment, between 8 and 10 weeks after sowing. To be clear though, cornfield annuals aren't plants you would expect to find in a wildflower meadow, and do have their limitations! They're pretty but have a short flowering window and have limited benefits ecologically.

Corncockle is an elegant plant with a beautiful purple flower, rare in the wild. Please note, it is toxic. Poppies and cornflowers are also colourful, and also have unobstrusive growing habits, so ideal for what we're looking to achieve with this mix. We think they were unwittingly brought to Britain by farmers in the iron age, incidentally.  

In year two the perennials and grasses will take over, so you will see far fewer flowers, and by year three just the odd one or two. Their seeds are still viable, however, so if the soil is disturbed they will germinate and flower again.

Sow at just 0.5-1g per square metre in combination with a meadow mix.

100% Wildflowers (by weight)
60.0 Corncockle Agrostema githago
25.0 Cornflower Centaurea cyanus
15.0 Field Poppy Papaver Rhoeas

Supplier : All Things Rural

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We strongly recommend reading up on wildflower meadows before buying seed - see our resources section and brief guide to preparation and aftercare, which includes links to our "how to" blogs and video. We also run courses on meadow creation and management


Although we test our seed and it has high germination rates, you need to be careful about initial care and establishing an annual regime. Don't be put off though - once you get the hang of it it's pretty straightforward.