Wildflower meadows are a popular and easy choice among gardeners who enjoy an easy-to-care for, simple, one-with-nature look to their gardens. Wildflowers offer many benefits, such as attracting birds, bees and butterflies. Native wildflowers are more resistant to diseases and, once established, are low maintenance. However, certain steps must be followed to allow for wildflowers to thrive in the garden.
Preparing the bed:
When seen growing in wild meadows or along a roadside, it seems that wildflowers can thrive almost anywhere in any condition. However, seeds must be properly planted to ensure their growth. To plant wildflower seeds, you must first choose the location in which they will grow. Wildflowers prefer 6 to 8 hours of sun daily and a plot that drains well. Mow down any pre-existing vegetation and collect and dispose of the clippings. Rake the surface of the wildflower bed to a 1-inch depth.
Planting the seeds:
First, choose the wildflowers you want to plant. Most wildflower seeds come in pre-mixed packets, but if not, purchase three or four different kinds and mix them together yourself. Be sure the seeds are native to the area you are planting them in, as native plants are more resistant to pests and diseases. Planting wildflower seeds is easiest when mixed with a carrier, such as masonry sand, potting soil or perlite. Mixing the carrier with the seeds allows for even distribution. When adding in a carrier, use 4 parts carrier mix to 1 part seed. When planting, sow the seeds over the raked wildflower bed and then compress the seeds into the soil by walking over the plot. If the bed is larger than an easily walkable side, you can use a seed roller to gently compress the seeds into the soil. The seeds shouldn’t be buried too deeply, and some may still be visible after compressing them.
Plant the wildflower seeds in the early spring to grow in the summer or in the late fall to overwinter. If planting in the late fall, make sure temperatures are low enough that seeds don’t germinate until the following summer.
For a 500-square-foot plot, use 1/4 pound of wildflower seeds. If planting 1 acre of dense flowers or 2 acres of sparsely scattered flowers, use 50 pounds of wildflower seeds.
One of the most common problems with a wildflower ed is the weeds. Weeds and wildflowers often accompany each other and when wildflowers are young, it can be tough to tell the difference between what is a flower and what is a weed. To counteract this, plant a few seeds of each wildflower variety in a pot and as they grow, you can see what the seedlings look like so you don’t pull them when weeding your garden.
Although wildflowers like full sun and good drainage, they can tolerate poor soil. Unless soil is completely sterile, wildflowers should be able to grow there. Adding fertilizer to a wildflower bed is not necessary and can even encourage unwanted weeds or grasses to grow with the flowers.
Here at Urban Farmer, we only sell 100% pure wildflower seeds of the highest quality and germination. Our quality wildflowers are for a wide range of geographic locations, growing conditions and custom blends.