Today we sowed the seeds for an exciting wildflower experiment. Led by Duncan Westbury from The University of Worcester, this trial aims to find out how strips of wildflowers can practically aid vineyards.
Firstly, the seed mix and sowing density are being tested. Some rows were planted with “off the shelf” seed blends, whilst others contained a bespoke mix created by Duncan. Then, they are also testing how cost effective some of the options were; as there’s no point saying something extravagantly expensive is the best way to do it!
The other trial that is happening is training the plants to grow and flower to a certain height. Traditionally, wildflowers are left to grow to their own devices, but for vineyards, this long growth traps wet air and encourages disease. Instead, we will be regularly cropping the flowers so that they learn to fully flower at ankle height; meaning we’ll no longer have to cut them back once they’re too high.
And of course, the biodiversity of our vineyard will benefit massively. We are already teeming with wildlife, but this should take it even further. We wonder what we’ll see!?
Not only is it exciting to let academic bodies learn from our little vineyard, but we can’t wait to see all these amazing rows of wildflowers pop up all over our land! We won’t really see the results until next year, but it should be worth the wait 🤗