Buckwheat is a quick growing and versatile crop which produces lots of nectar rich flowers. These are brilliant at attracting insects to the cover. There is a good amount of seed shed in early autumn which again gives feed interest to the birds. Most often found in mixtures but can be sown in patches. Available in 5kg packs.
Canary Grass (Phalaris Aquatica)
Canary grass is a long lasting (5-6 years) cover crop which, when matured, will grow into bushy clumps and reach up to 6 feet tall. Also known as holdfast, it is a non UK native variety. Grows well in the UK. Pack size is 2.5kg per acre.
Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris Arundinacea)
Reed Canary Grass is a UK native variety and therefore may prove more winter hardy and suited to a wider range of soil types than Canary Grass.
As a perennial crop chicory will give better cover in the second and subsequent years. During the first year it will be similar in size to a large dandelion but by the summer of the second year it is a tall and bushy plant. Chicory offers good drought resistance but does not like wet ground. We are offering chicory as a straight in 2kg packs or in the mixture Springer.
Linseed is often used in gamecover for its excellent seed shedding. It is most often used as part of a mixture but can be sown as a straight stand. It is another plant with no overall canopy which makes it very suitable for partridge. It is featured in our Partridge mixtures.
Phacelia is an extremely fast growing catch crop with brilliant bluey purple flowers. This attracts a huge quantity of insects to the cover. A good provider of both Pollen & Nectar. Phacelia competes well with weeds and is often used as a green manure crop. Phacelia does readily re-seed itself.
Mustard is a very versatile crop which can be sown as part of a mixture or as a patching crop due to its fast growth. It is often sown or broadcast into cereal stubbles. It can be sown over a wide period of time from spring right through to mid September. Often used as a green manure. Mustard is not winter hardy but does offer excellent early season cover.
Brown mustard is a more winter hardy plant that grows quickly as with other mustard. It can be sown or broadcast into cereal stubble. Although more expensive than standard mustard it will maintain cover through to February as in the picture below.
True spring varieties of Triticale do not need a period of vernalisation to allow them to produce an abundance of seed. The standing power of Triticale is excellent taken together with the fact that rabbits do not like it. Triticale is a useful addition to the gamecover portfolio. Can be sown as a straight but most often found in mixtures. Will provide cover late into the season particularly used in partridge mixtures.
Yellow Blossom Sweet Clover
Often known as Sweet Clover this is a useful hardy biennial crop. It is often grown as part of a mixture where it can offer a free atmospheric nitrogen fix. A good nectar producing plant that thrives on neutral and calcareous soils. 2nd year growth can reach up to 2 metres in height.
Quinoa is an excellent provider of high protein seed which is shed throughout the season. Although Quinoa can be sown on its own it is more frequently grown in a mix. Frequently grown with Kale as in Kingmix and Overdrive.
PERENNIAL GAMECOVER – SPRING SOWN TUBERS
The crop will grow in most soil types and is not geographically limited. Individual plants may grow to over six feet tall and will remain green until mid autumn. From that time there will be a gradual die back, but should maintain cover until the end of the shooting season. Careful management is required in spring each year where new tubers will have formed between rows, if these are left unchecked the crop will cease to be of use as birds will not be able to move freely through the crop. Amongst the disadvantages of the crop is that once you have artichokes on a piece of land you will have a problem removing them totally. New tubers are being formed all the time during the growing season. Another drawback is that the tubers must be sown within a very short time of being harvested as once the tubers start to dry off they are of no use. Tubers should be harvested, bagged and re-sown within 48 hours for best results. Excellent results are gained from treating the tubers as potatoes for sowing purposes.