How to Plant Wildflower Seed

How to Plant Wildflower Seed

Ready for sowing Ready for sowing

If you want to know how to plant wildflower seed,  then firstly you need to understand that wildflowers are slow to establish and do not like too much competition early on.

The more effort that goes into clearing the ground and preparing the seed bed the better the chance of success. Ideally the aim is not only to clear what is growing there at present but also to reduce the existing seed bank before sowing.

To do this;

Cultivations

Ideally you would work the ground down and prepare a seed bed a few months before planting. You would then leave it fallow or bare earth for a period of time. This will encourage the seed bank to germinate. If you are happy to, we would then recommend killing of the regrowth with a glysophate based product such as Roundup. Leave that to fully work for 8 to 10 days. Rake or harrow the ground lightly to create a seed bed, broadcast the seed mix and finally roll afterwards.

You may not get rid of all the potential weed seeds but you should reduce some of them.

If sowing a 100% wildflower seed perennial mix it may be possible to establish them in some existing grass. We would suggest that you need at least 50% bare soil before planting. The more grass you take out the better the chance of success. It is likely the grass will always grow back again.

Planting times

Mid March to Mid May. Or Mid August to Mid October.

Seeding

We would normally suggest the following seed rates

A Grass and Perennial meadow mix 4 grams to the square metre

A 100% wildflower seed mix 1.5 grams to the square metre

A cornfield annual seed mix 2 grams to the square metre.

When sowing the seed, we suggest bulking it up with some sand. It is difficult to sow at these low seed rates and most seed applicators will not do such a low seed setting. There are no fixed rules about proportion of seed to sand. The sand is merely a medium to bulk the seed up and you can see where you have spread it. It is important when doing a large area to do some trial areas first so you do not run out of seed later.

 Plant wildflower seed Plant wildflower seed

Establishment

Our advice generally is not to water the area once planted as it is better that you let the meadow take its own time.

By the nature of low seed rates and slow growing species perennial meadows tend to look thin and patchy early on.  The key is patience as eventually the meadow will thicken out. Perennials meadows often take a couple of years to get going.

Hopefully this will give you an idea as to how to plant wildflower seed. If you are still not sure how to plant wildflower seed then please contact Tim Evans on shop@meadowmania.co.uk for more advice.