Bee buffet contains mainly perennial species, which can be slow to establish and are unlikely to flower in the first year. Annual species such as Borage, Corncockle, Corn Flower and Field Poppy will generally flower in year one.
During the 1st year remove any weeds which grow before they run to seed, either by topping, mowing or by hand for smaller areas. Weed growth is common due to the action of disturbing the ground (rather than being caused by contaminated seed mixtures).
The area can be cut once the flowers have died back in the autumn. We recommend leaving the area undisturbed for as long as possible, ideally until February / March (before the first spring growth). The dead flowers and stems provide a diverse environment which is a haven for wildlife through the winter months. In particular, it provides habitat for butterflies such as the Red Admiral and the Clouded Yellow which remain in their chrysalis during the winter months.
Cut the area down to around 10cm using a scythe, strimmer or mower, leaving the cuttings for up to a week before removing. This will allow them to dry and shed seeds back into the soil.
After twelve months the sward should be well established and requires little additional maintenance. Simply follow the same annual cut pattern (either in spring or autumn depending on your preference).
As an ongoing process, observe and remove any weeds which invade the area.
Over time, some species within the mixture may become more dominant due to environmental factors and natural selection. To encourage diversity, simply reduce the number of dominant plants in order to restore the balance.
If overseeding into grassland, we recommend incorporating at least two 10cm cuts each year; at the beginning of March and November. This reduces the grass canopy, allowing light and air to reach the wild flowers and encourage growth. Where aggressive grasses are dominating, it may be necessary to employ a more regular cutting regime to ensure the wild flowers are not smothered.