Thursday saw the second major piece of work carried out in our creation of the meadow at Toryglen. I went along with nine members of the Urban Roots volunteer group and we really got stuck in to converting the thick coarse grasses present on site, to the start of a wildflower rich meadow.
There are a number of things you need to do to get the best possible results out of meadow creation. Firstly, in the places where you are hoping to establish new wildflowers, you need to remove as much of the coarse grass vegetation as possible, to open up the ground and give the seeds you sow the best possible chance of germinating and establishing themselves. Given that we have opted to create this meadow by hand, using people power, we therefore spent the majority of the session scarifying and raking the soil. We used gardening forks, pond chromes (which turned out to be very useful!), and hand rakes to remove as much of the grass as possible. Some patches were tougher than others, but we managed to remove a huge amont of material, thus giving our native seed the best chance we can.
Along the way we found a lot of rubbish in the soil. As this site has had a chequered history that probably includes regular periods of waste dumping, we are continuously working to remove the rubbish from the soil, improving its quality all the time.
After all our hard work raking and scarifying, we then sowed some seed. We mixed the wildflower seed in with some soil and then spread it by hand over the open patches of ground. We then trampled it into the soil using our feet. We also separately sowed some Yellow Rattle seed into the grassy areas; if the Yellow Rattle grows well, it will feed on the grasses and so weaken them, allowing other wildflowers a chance to grow.
We have another session coming up on October 7th to complete the meadow creation work, as well as an upcoming session with some local schoolchildren to plant some wildflower seedlings at the site, why not come down and join us if you want to learn more? Otherwise, watch this space for more updates.