GS4 Legume & Herb Rich Sward
ELS/HLS/CSS Codes: EK21, GS4 br>
br>This all round mixture promotes biodiversity, creates habitats, produces pollen and nectar and is also a superb soil conditioner and top quality forage. While buffer strips and field margins have worked well in helping to promote biodiversity and create habitats, planting mixes across whole fields is clearly even better. br>It is an option under the Higher Level Stewardship scheme and more recently Countryside Stewardship.
|Contents per Kg||%||kg|
|certified tetraploid perennial ryegrass||12.5||0.125|
|certified perennial ryegrass||5.4||0.054|
|certified meadow fescue||4.9||0.049|
|certified tall fescue||4.9||0.049|
|certified alsike clover||2.5||0.025|
|certified red clover||4.9||0.049|
|commercial sweet clover||2.0||0.020|
|certified birdsfoot trefoil||2.9||0.029|
|Burnet forage herb||6.4||0.064|
|Yarrow forage herb||1.0||0.010|
|Sheeps Parsley forage herb||3.9||0.039|
|Lesser Knapweed (Centaurea nigra)||0.1||0.001|
Birdsfoot Trefoil is a legume, it grows from a basal crown, with numerous stems that can vary from prostrate to erect in growth habit. In some parts of the country it is called the 'eggs and bacon' plant.
Chicory is an eye catching, mineral rich forage herb that has a long taproot capable of penetrating to great depth, breaking through plough pans and leaving the soil aerated, aiding drainage and crop root development. Itís frequently used in combination with other species as a soil improving species and is commonly used as an addition to grazing leys due to its high protein content and its ability to fatten lambs. It is also a known anthelmintic species.
Lesser knapweed is also known as common black knapweed. It is a competitive wild flower found throughout the UK and parts of western Europe, in old meadows and roadsides. It may be known as 'hardheads'.
One of the larger fescues this is a valuable grazing grass which can also be made into hay. Recent thinking has altered the Latin so that the flat leaved fescues (meadow fescue and tall fescue) have been given their own genus, separate from the finer leaved fescues.
Perennial ryegrass is the most commonly grown productive grass in the UK, used particularly for livestock grazing and forage. It has been the subject of plant breeding for over 60 years, ensuring there are a wide range of perennial ryegrass varieties available commercially.
Red clover is one of the most popularly used true clovers in the UK. Once established itís capable of rapid growth and shows reasonably good persistence up to three years, although ongoing breeding work is being carried out to increase plant persistence. The highest yielding strains of red clover are called 'double cut' varieties, normally providing quick regrowth after cutting and several flushes or cuts per season. The 'single cut' strains of red clover, notably the variety altaswede provide one large cut per season, flowering approximately 10 days later than the 'double cut' strains.
Ribgrass is a very popular perennial forage herb which is commonly mixed with sheep's parsley, yarrow and burnet to increase diversity and lift trace elements from deep within the soil profile. It can be mixed with regular grassland species to increase grazing quality, and with deep roots it is also popular in mixtures for lighter land. It is also known as Plantain or narrow leaf plantain.
Sainfoin is extremely palatable to livestock and has very good nutritional balance. It can be grazed or fed as hay or silage. It suits the thin soils and limestone rich downlands found in some areas of the UK. Loosely translated sainfoin in French means 'Healthy Hay'.
Sheeps parsley is a common forage herb, usually mixed with ribgrass, yarrow and burnet to increase diversity and lift trace elements from deep within the soil profile. It can be mixed with regular grassland species to increase grazing diversity.
Sweet clover (also known as yellow blossom) is a tall biennial plant. There are two forms, one white flowered and one yellow, with little difference between them. Once established it is aggressive, producing a large tap root and significant biomass.
Tall fescue is found throughout the UK, it has similar features to meadow fescue, however it is distinguished by being taller, and coarser, with a rough upper leaf and margins. The well developed root system means it is tolerant of drought, damp and frost, which has created interest among plant breeders, looking to cross highly productive ryegrass and resilient fescue species as festuloliums. Recent thinking has altered the Latin so that the flat leaved fescues (meadow fescue and tall fescue) have been given their own genus, separate from the finer leaved fescues.
Possibly the most important and flexible grass species which is used both environmentally and agriculturally. It is a very common species found in pasture throughout the UK. It retains its verdure longer than most grasses and although similar to smaller cats tail, it is larger in size with wider leaves and a longer spike like panicle.
Yarrow is a small seeded forage herb which is commonly mixed with sheep's parsley, burnet and ribgrass to increase diversity and lift trace elements from deep within the soil profile, as a specific herbs mixture, or part of a diverse grass ley. It has been noted to improve circulation and blood flow in livestock.