Do you have some unused yard space that you think would make a fabulous wildflower meadow? If so, you can maximize your chances of growing a great wildflower meadow by following a few simple strategies. Here are five ways to maximize your chances of creating a lovely and healthy wildflower meadow:
Prepare the Site Properly
Even wildflowers that are native to the area usually aren't nearly as competitive as weeds, so you'll need to begin the war on weeds right from the start. There are several ways that you can do this:
Select the Seed
Don't be tempted to use the inexpensive seed packets that you've undoubtedly seen in retail outlets -- these are wonderful for adding quick color to rustic containers such as half-whiskey barrels, but because they primarily contain annuals, they but don't work well for establishing permanent plantings. Work with a reputable seed company to create a wildflower seed mixture that's suitable for your exact location, soil type, and climate conditions. Choosing native plants will greatly increase your chances of establishing an attractive and healthy wildflower garden.
Sow the Seed
Sowing the seed should be done in spring after all danger of frost is past. Broadcasting is the most efficient method of sowing wildflower seeds -- mix the seeds with sand and scatter them throughout the planting site. Seed density will depend highly on your particular wildflower mixture -- the company that you bought the seed from will be able to provide you with the information that you need.
Water and Weed
Keep the ground moist but not waterlogged during the germination and sprouting stages -- it's important not to let seedlings complete dry out. After they are about six inches tall, their root systems should be well developed enough so that they can survive on average rainfall. You'll probably have to do some hand weeding during this time as well to catch any strays that may not have been eliminated earlier, but there shouldn't be too many of these.
Mow to Maintain
The only real maintenance that an established wildflower meadow needs besides the occasional watering during drought is a yearly mowing after the plants have all set seed in autumn. Simply mow it back to the ground, and be sure to use a self-mulching mower so that the seeds can be distributed. Beyond that, all you have to do is enjoy the lovely spot you've created.