Tagged Sowing cornfield annuals as a ‘nurse’ crop

Sowing annual wildflowers as a ‘nurse’ crop

Q: I understand it is advantageous to sow a Cornfield mixture at the same time as a perennial grass and wildflower mixture. How should this be done and what are the benefits?

A: This technique is known as ‘nursing’. Perennial wildflowers are generally slow to germinate and establish. By contrast cornfield annuals germinate and grow quickly. This can help to reduce the extent of weed invasion following sowing and leads to a good display of colour in the first season. It also means virtually no maintenance is required until after the annuals have flowered. Cornfield annuals can also have the benefit of helping to stabilize steep banks and preventing smaller seeds being washed away by surface water run off. Choose a mixture of cornfield annuals WITHOUT grasses if using as a nurse.