Of all the wild flower species the Cornfield annuals are by far the most dramatic and colourful. Sowing a mixture of Cornfield annuals in the spring or autumn should create a mass of colour in the following summer.
Even a simple mixture should give you the red of Poppies the blue of Cornflowers.The bright golden yellow of Marigolds and the mauve of Corn Cockle. More complex mixes may also contain field forget me not, mayweed and night flowering catch fly.
The key to success with cornfield annuals is the same as with all wild flowers it is in the preparation. They should either be sown in the spring ideally before mid April or in the autumn between mid August and mid October. The mixture should be sown at 2 grams to the square metre. The ground ideally should be cleared of all competition and levelled out. It may be necessary to mix the seed with some sand to sow it at this low seed rate. But it should be broadcast then rolled afterwards or the ground consolidated in some way.
Normally annuals take, if sown in the spring, between 10 to 12 weeks from sowing to flowering. they should therefore flower through most of the summer. They will need cutting down by the end of August or early September. It may be possible for them to reseed the following year but the ground would need re-cultivating and then rolling afterwards.
An excellent way to use Cornfield annuals is to sow a perennial mix of wild flowers or a meadow mix of wild flowers and sow some Cornfield annuals with it. This way you get a dramatic show of colour in the first year from the annuals and then the perennial mix comes to the fore from the second year onwards.. If taking this route the Cornfield annuals should be sown at 1 gram to the square metre.