Linseed has many supporters who swear by its holding power. The pods hang on to their seed until well into the season and Linseed has long been recognized as a popular crop with several endangered bird species. From a farming perspective, it is not difficult to grow and it is a good mixture component for weedy sites, as it is resistant to a range of chemicals. The powder blue flowers are a very authentic colour for the English summer, attracting insects and acting as a useful cover area. Do not be tempted to buy untreated seed as the flea beetle will devastate an emerging linseed crop.
Bag Size: 25kg. Seed Dressing: Chinook.
Lucerne is often used in brood rearing covers as it is a leguminous plant that therefore requires little in the way of fetiliser or spray and is an excellent insect attractor. Could also be a useful addition to field corners or grass margins. Often used to produce forage for livestock.
Bag Size: 5kg
Phacelia grows very quickly, providing a useful weed suppressant and then flowering within 12 weeks of planting. The flowers last all summer, the roots help as a soil improver and insects seem drawn to this plant in huge numbers. Unfortunately it has very little winter hardiness and soon disappears after the first frost.
Bag Size: 2kg
According to several studies, Quinoa is very popular with a wide range of farmland birds and it is often required in HLS HF12 mixtures. It adds a fantastic range of colours in the late summer and often attracts an array of insect life. It does make weed control rather awkward but is not difficult to grow and many keepers like the height and feed that Quinoa provides.
Bag Size: 2kg
American Yellow Blossomed Sweet Clover has received a bit of a bad press recently, with Natural England excluding it from ELS mixtures as it is only a “Game Cover” (is that a crime?) The reason for this is that a few popular mixes use far too much of it in the recipe, causing it to dominate in year 2. This is a shame in our view, as it can really enhance 2 year mixes with Kale or Chicory and we use it sparingly to great effect. It adds insect attraction and canopy benefits and is really useful in a wild game situation, providing lots of fat juicy bugs at the key time of year (May-June)
Bag Size: 2kg
Triticale is a hybrid of Wheat and Rye, producing a robust plant that does well on poor sites and holds onto its grain for much longer than other cereals. Growers report that it is much less palatable to rabbits and other grazing pests, whilst also being less prone to cereal diseases. Triticale stands very well and will produce good strong tillers when planted in wide rows. There are two types, Winter and Spring, although the species is considered to have a very low vernalisation requirement so it can be planted quite late and still seed. In our experience, the Spring varieties tend to grow in a more upright fashion and they make useful “nurse crops” for mixtures or for species like Canary Grass or Chicory.
Bag Sizes: 25kg and Bulk bags