Perennials

Perennial Cropping Options

All wild bird shoots and any shoots reliant on game crops to produce drives should have a percentage of their crops as perennials. However, please don’t think that you can just plant a perennial crop and it will guarantee cover for many years. All perennials need to be established with care and need annual management if they are to deliver the habitat that game requires. Once established they are a terrific source of reassurance especially in difficult years when so many annual crops fail. Perennials are excellent for providing reliable cover, but they don’t produce much winter food.  They can attract insects and be useful for brood rearing, plus they can offer considerable cost savings over their lifetime.  Some are easy to establish (and to remove if required), others, artichokes for example, are rather more permanent. Please talk to us to discuss what you are looking to achieve and we can advise you on the best solution.

Miscanthus

Fantastic holding and driving crop
Takes two years to establish
Once established holds birds all day whatever the weather
Best grown in strips alongside a food crop
Can be oversown in year 1
For establishment advice and costs please contact the office on 01480 890686 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Minimum order size – 2,000 rhizomes (0.2ha)
Bag size – 2,000 to 10,000 rhizomes

As farms look towards alternative crops on marginal land, the area of land planted to energy crops such as miscanthus is likely to increase. One of the positive spin-offs discovered by growers of this tall, bamboo like plant is the fact that it is popular with game, providing a very warm winter cover.

One issue to bear in mind is that commercial crops of this crop can cover quite large areas, thus creating areas that can draw your birds away from where you could expect them to be in the past. This can be both helpful and unhelpful so consider the possible consequences during the planning stages, as once it is planted it will be there for a few years.

 

GM206

Our most popular and successful perennial mix
Must be sown on wide rows to avoid disappointment
Reed millet delivers cover in year 1
Chicory, reed canary grass and sweet clover then provide cover for 5 years+ 
Contains reed millet, reed canary grass, chicory, sweet clover
Seed treatment – recleaned only
Bag size – 6kg (half hectare)

 

Home Sweet Home

Developed for estates with grey partridge interest
Long-term mix delivering winter cover and spring chick food 
Sweet fennel a very winter hardy perennial that also delivers insects in the spring
Reed millet and kale give cover in year 1
Contains sweet fennel, sweet clover, chicory, kale, lucerne, reed millet
Seed treatment – Cruiser SB (kale), nitrogen gold inoculum (Lucerne)
Bag size – 12kg (hectare) 

 

Artichokes

Jerusalem artichokes an old favourite
Robust tubers, relatively easy to establish
Need managing once established to prevent them getting too thick and falling over
Order early as tubers are lifted to order and once they start chitting we have to stop lifting
Minimum order size 250kg
Bag size – 25kg

 

Canary / Reed Canary

Reed canary grass (phalaris arundinacea) is UK native unlike Canary grass (p. aquatica) 
Both must be sown in wide rows (75cm) and need ongoing management
Better sown in mixes
Seed treatment – recleaned only
Bag size - 2.5kg

 

Perennials