There are 10,000 grass species offering a very wide range of types of plant. This covers meadow grass, bamboos, cereals etc, all of which fall under the same family Gramineae.
In most case people tend to know about lawn grass, paddock grass seed and in some cases ornamental grasses that can be planted in borders.
Our interest here is in those species that grow in the wild. Ones that can be used to create a wild flower meadow or ones which can be sown either on their own or in a mixture to create an attractive natural area.
Alopecurus pratensis Meadow Foxtail
Perennial ryegrass is now the dominant grass species. Appearing in most lawn seed mixtures and paddock mixtures for cattle, horses and other livestock. Perennial ryegrass comes in many types but they have been bred for high yields, persistence and high sugar value.
This means if you want a more diverse range of species. You need to either remove any perennial ryegrass and/or sow a mix made up of other species.
Grasses. Such as Fescues, Crested Dogstail, Sweet Vernal Grass,Quaking grass,Yellow Oat Grass etc.
Meadow grass are suitable for most area and types of soil. If you have a particularly damp area you may want to change the mix slightly. These types of grasses work where you have an area of a garden or field where you do not want a formal lawn but want to be able to leave the grasses to grow wild and cut them once a year.
By planting a mixture of meadow grass it will look attractive whether you sow wild flowers in it to or not.
Smooth Stalk Meadow Grass
The mixture of meadow grass can be sown in spring Mid March though to May. Or in August through to early October.
Ideally the ground should be cleared as best you can. Create a clean even level seedbed. Broadcast the seed then roll or consolidate the ground afterwards. If adding to existing grass. Cut the grass back very short then rake/scarify the ground broadcast the seed and roll it afterwards.
Sow at 5 grams to the sq metre for large areas. 10 grams to the sq metre for small areas.
Leave to grow out during the summer. Cut it back once at the end of August. Ideally it should grow through the winter each year at about 2/3 inches in height.
If sowing wild flowers with the meadow grass sow the wild flowers at 1 gram to the sq metre. Plug plants plant at about 5 to 7 per sq metre