Welcome to the new web by ČSOP. Let's help our meadows!

Meadow and Grassland Restoration

Regional seed mixtures as an effective tool for the conservation of grassland habitat diversity

How to do it

Spontaneous succession

Although the technical term for this method sounds complicated, it is the simplest variant. The prerequisite is to have a nice meadow in the vicinity of the area to be grassed and plenty of time. If you meet both of these requirements, then all you have to do is wait. In time, the seeds from the nearby meadow will arrive in your area spontaneously and over the years a new, beautiful meadow will be created without any money and almost no effort. You should start mowing the meadow some years after its establishment, depending on local conditions.

  • Advantages:
  • no funding is required
  • minimal effort
  • Disadvantages:
  • time
  • the need to have a nice meadow in the vicinity of our area

Green hay

Another option (and a quicker one for that matter) is to sow with green hay. The principle is quite simple - you need to find a nice meadow in the vicinity of your location, ideally within 20 km. This meadow should then be mown and all the material immediately transported and spread onto your area. It is important to ensure that the cut material is not dry; on the contrary, it is better to mow in the morning dew or when it is wet - otherwise most of the seeds will fall out before you can spread the hay on your area. Hence the term "green" hay.

You can mow your source meadow two times a season, the first time in late June to provide grass seeds, and a second time in late July or August to provide herb seeds. If mowing more than once is not within your means, then choose a date in late July - there will still be grass seeds left, and at the same time seeds of most herbs.

The green hay in your area should be spread in a layer 10-15 cm thick. If you have opted for multiple transfers, spread the hay in strips. Leave the mulch laid in this way until next year - it will decompose over the winter and the seeds will germinate during this time. The following year, the area should be mown in spring, ideally at the end of May or early June, preferably further from the ground. This ensures that the small seedlings are not damaged. Depending on site conditions, the crop may be mown again in late summer.

  • Advantages:
  • relatively inexpensive
  • providing seeds of all species
  • quick effect
  • Disadvantages:
  • logistical difficulty

You can find possible source areas for green hay in our database.

Regional seed mixtures

It is also possible to fertilise the soil with a pre-prepared regional seed mix. As the name suggests, these mixes are created to be used only in a given region. They are species-rich and contain species typical of the region. By sowing such a mixture on your area, you will ensure sufficient species diversity and resistance of the newly created meadow with less effort than using green hay. Sow 1.5-2 g/m2 of the mixture, usually in autumn or spring.

When using a regional seed mix, it is a good idea to consult experts beforehand on the correct sowing. Particularly when converting arable land to grassland, it may be advisable to sow the area first with a single species seed to prevent overcrowding and to get excess nutrients out of the soil. Only the following year, the area is then sown with regional seed, which will germinate better thanks to this site preparation.

Unfortunately, regional seed mixes are not yet available for all regions of the Czech Republic. For the time being, they can be used in the White Carpathians, Moravian Karst, Krkonoše, Žďárské hory and Vysočina. Their development has already begun in Prague and Šumava. However, seeds for sowing can be obtained in many more regions of the Czech Republic - information on possible source areas for seed collection is collected in our database.

  • Advantages:
  • logistically simple
  • quick effect
  • Disadvantages:
  • financial requirement
  • availability only for certain regions