Sowing wildflowers

A wildflower meadow is a great way of attracting a wide diversity of birds, bees, butterflies and other wildlife into your garden

Sowing a wildflower meadow

Sow in the spring or autumn at around 3g/m2 for 100% pure wildflower seed mixtures and 5g/m2 for 80/20 meadow grass and wildflower mixes. This is a sparse spread of seeds – the equivalent of 3-5 smarties in a square metre of ground. And small seeds can be difficult to spread evenly so it is a good idea to mix the seed with sand first, then distribute the mixture.

Good ground preparation is essential

Wildflowers will not grow or survive in areas of thick grass or strong-growing perennial weeds. It is worth clearing the ground of weeds before attempting to sow any wildflower mix.

Take care not to bury the seeds as they need light, warmth and water to grow.

Some species may need frost to help to break dormancy, so be patient – the seeds will lie in the soil until the conditions are right for germination to occur.

Do not automatically expect to see flowers in the first year. If you sow an annual mix, you will get flowers, but perennials need to grow for at least 2 years before the plants are mature enough to flower.

Maintaining the wildflower meadow

Year 1

Just keep an eye on it and remove any weeds and rough grasses that grow up into the area to ensure that the seedlings are getting enough light and are not getting crowded out.

Year 2

Allow any seeds from the wildflowers to ripen and fall into the soil then cut the plants back hard. Remove the cuttings, as they could stop the light reaching seeds that have fallen to the ground.

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