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Wildflower meadows are one of the most beautiful landscapes, they offer a vital food source for bees and other pollinators as well as provide a much-needed habitat for local wildlife. Wildflowers can also be a great addition to your garden, bringing life and vibrancy to your doorstep.
If you’re thinking about introducing wildflowers into your garden, follow the steps below for amazing results:
The best time to sow wildflower seeds is in autumn, as the seeds tend to germinate and establish quickly. However, you can also sow in spring with bloom usually taking place after 60-80 days.
The establishment of wildflower mixes is not always immediate. Full establishment can sometimes take up to two or three years depending on the compilation of the mixture, site conditions, soil type, and husbandry input. Maintenance and management also have a major impact on how well and how quickly they establish.
Step 1: Wildflower seeds tend to grow a lot better in nutrient-deprived soil. Selecting an area where soil conditions are poor is favourable. Alternatively, you can strip away the top 5-10 cm of soil to help reduce soil fertility, ensuring you’ve removed any existing vegetation. Tip: Choosing a mix that contains yellow rattle increases the chance of successful establishment as it is parasitic to grass, so will stop grass from growing.
Step 2: Dig the soil over and firm it down to create a level seedbed. Rake the soil to ensure is a fine and crumbly consistency.
Step 3: We recommend sowing the wildflower seeds at a rate of 5g per m2 of soil. You can either scatter the seeds using your hands as you walk across the ground, aiming for even coverage or you can use a seed spreader. If you opt for a spreader, please contact the manufacturer for the correct setting. Once scattered, lightly rake the area to improve seed to soil contact.
Step 4: Beware of birds! Birds love to pinch the wildflower seeds, ruining all your hard work. Some gardeners decide to put up netting while the seeds are germinating to prevent this from happening.
Step 5: Keeping the soil moist once sown, especially during hot, dry conditions, will aid germination and encourage healthy growth.
Looking After Your Meadow
If you prepared your wildflower meadow in autumn, by spring you should start seeing your very first flowers!
Around June – July your meadow is ready for its first cut. leave the cuttings on the ground for a few days to allow any seeds to drop back into the soil, then remove the cuttings.
After the first year, it’s vital that you do not mow your meadow from April – September, this will allow as many species of wildflower to bloom as possible. However, during autumn you’ve got the green light to mow and do any necessary weeding.
If you decided to sow your wildflower seeds in spring, the flowers should start to bloom in summer. However, the main bloom will occur the following spring.