Elsoms is now applying its knowledge and experience in enhancing seed quality for the vegetable industry to key sectors of the horticulture and cut flower industry. Wildflower establishment can be problematic, and Elsoms is helping to tackle this.
Compared to most domesticated flower species, wildflowers are harder to germinate and face stiff competition from more vigorous grasses and weeds typically found in meadows. This can result in poor establishment and disappointing results.
The use of Elsoms’ seed priming technologies to even out the germination of seeds and create a uniformed emergence has proven a success in the vegetable industry. Using this technology, Elsoms’ seed treatment team have started to look at priming difficult to germinate species such as birdsfoot trefoil, primrose, field scabious and cowslip.
Not all species react to priming, but early results demonstrate that primed seed offers that much needed boost to gain fast-germination and a clear, uniform emergence in order for certain species to compete with vigorous grasses and weeds and to help create full and diverse wildflower meadows.
The next stage of these trials is to expand the number of species of wildflowers, including species such as common vetch, tufted vetch, kidney vetch, meadow vetchling, ragged robin and vipers bugloss, while working with other companies to explore wildflower mixtures and turf as an option. The aim of these trials is to understand how primed wildflower seed performs in turf strips without the typical species found in the natural environment.
The creation of wildflower meadows and woodlands has become a key point of discussion, as the Government promises a step change in its approach to how it manages the natural environment. It seems likely that landowners will be incentivised to establish more wildflower meadows in future, and Elsoms is keen to work with seed suppliers and growers to ensure this is as successful as possible.