We recently had some very interesting feedback from a landscape contractor who used our Wildflower Earth™ for the first time this year.
Jim Staveley MD of Greener Places Ltd based near Worksop in Nottinghamshire ordered 300m² of our Border mix Wildflower Earth for Herringthorpe Junior School, near Rotherham. This was installed on the 16th March 2017 and this project provides an interesting and informative case study.
Jim told us that in the autumn prior to installation, he did a comprehensive job of clearing the site of weeds using Glyphosate. The area, on a 45 degree bank, had been sown in 2014 with a colourful mix of native and non-native flowers but due to the weed seed burden in the soil, the bank soon developed a profusion of thistles and docks which the head teacher was very unhappy about.
Jim was asked to resolve the situation and looked at Wildflower Turf™ and Wildflower Earth as a solution. He chose Wildflower Earth as a way of lowering the cost, ensuring a good chance of success and to reduce his risk of the weeds taking over the area again.
Jim was very pleasantly surprised with the ease of installation. He set aside two people for two days to spread the 300m² of Wildflower Earth. It was all done by the end of the first day. They were thorough over checking the depth of spread but it was the subsequent watering that he gave the area that was the key to his success. Since the installation date, we have had some extended dry spells and making allowances for this is where Jim’s experience and diligence paid dividends.
He watered the area on a reasonably regular basis but as an experienced landscaper, he was methodical with this and took his time. To the inexperienced installer watering Wildflower Earth can deceive. It is important to repeatedly check that the water applied is soaking through the Wildflower Earth to the soil below. Soaking the full layer of growing medium is vital and ensures thorough and speedy germination. Getting the flowers established quickly is an essential part of any wildflower installation and this combined with the suppressive characteristics of Wildflower Turf or Earth is the best defense against weed ingress.
The school is now very proud of the wildlife haven they have created and use it as a learning resource in their outdoor education classes. Jim has been asked back to look at other areas on site and for more information on wildflower spaces by the neighboring secondary school.
Jim’s comment to our MD James said it all, “I knew this was a difficult site with a very bad existing ‘weed bank’ hiding in the heavy soil. Previous rotovating and traditional wildflower sowing (by another contractor) had just yielded a bumper crop of thistles and docks! I had great help from your office with product information and the logistics for the project. I put some effort into the installation and aftercare and I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome. The school is delighted with the results and other local schools are now getting inspired and have asked me to advise”.
We are pleased to hear that Jim has signed up to our Yorkshire Accreditation Scheme this autumn and we look forward to hearing more about the project then.
It has been great to have been involved with such a successful project and I would like to thank Jim for all his feedback and the hard work he put into to get such a positive result.