Download and print

Farmland Birds: Sowing & Growing

Suitable soils

These mixes are suitable for most soil types with a pH above 5.5.

When to sow

The one year mix is sown from late April until June and should be avoided on land where spring seedbeds cannot be reliably obtained. Sow the two year mixture in April to the end of May.

How to sow

Sow into a warm, well-prepared seedbed which is free of weeds. Preparation should start early to flush weeds using a stale seed bed and glyphosate, ideally achieving several flushes of weeds before sowing. Seed should be sown at around 20mm and rolled well.

For the two year mix, drill the triticale first at 35mm before surface sowing the rest and rolling altogether.

If sowing onto ground that is known to have a weed burden, seek advice on pre or post emergence herbicide options.


A weed free seedbed is key, especially for the two year option. Flea beetle can be an issue with brassicas and should be monitored carefully, including robust quick growing brassicas like mustard and radish have been shown to create cover for slower growing brassica species like Kale. Year 2 should show a predomiance of kale.

Nutrient requirements 

The seed yield of these crops is dependent on a satisfactory soil status. Provided there is no conflict with your environmental agreement, apply small quantities of N in the seed bed. Ensure P and K levels are around ADAS Index 2. Agreement permitting, 50-60 kg of N per hectare can boost seed yields, especially for hungry brassica species, or an aplication of FYM before sowing.

Date Posted: 22nd January 2018