Wildflower meadows are not only easy to sow and grow, but also bring a vibrant burst of colour and amazing variety to your garden beds and borders – not to mention a hive of activity from busy bees and butterflies. So, keep reading for our useful guide on how to create a wildflower meadow!
Knowing how to create a wildflower meadow not only gives you the confidence to fill your garden with bright colours and sweet-smelling flowers, but it helps you enjoy the process of seeing it all come together! Whilst they are low maintenance and don’t require the same amount of preening and feeding that typical garden flora does, they do need a little bit of prep work to make them bloom beautifully!
Three steps to create a wildflower meadow:
Step One: Prep to perfection
Because wildflowers are in fact wild, most people think that if they just scatter the seed they should grow just fine. Some of these seeds may grow, but you need to prepare the area properly for the best results and a wildflower-full meadow. Wildflowers grow in wild and unkept areas as they thrive in nutrient-deficient / low-fertility soils. For this reason, the best place to sow wildflowers will be in an area free from fertile plants such as grass or flora.
Weeds also need to be removed as not only will they ruin the look of your colourful wildflower meadow, but they will hinder its growth. So, if you want to get the meadow of your dreams, make sure to remove all existing grass, weeds or flora first. We also recommend leaving the area for a few weeks to allow any further sneaky weeds to pop up and be quickly removed!
Step Two: Choose the right mix for you
When planning to sow wildflowers, you probably have an area in mind where you would like to place them. Whether this is a bed, border, a larger area than this or simply in a spot where nothing else seems to grow. Perhaps you’re not too bothered about how it looks but want to create a haven for wildlife. Well, you’ve come to the right place!
To add colour to your clay soils, we have developed a wildflower seed mix brimming with annual and perennial wildflowers that can grow in clay conditions, and for those darker parts of your garden that suffer from the shade, we have designed a shade tolerant wildflower mix full of gorgeous wild flora to brighten them right up!
Consider seed mixes for bees and butterflies
If you want to bring more bees or butterflies to your garden, we have specific mixes full of their favourite colourful and sweet-smelling flowers. Our Bees Please mix contains beautiful blooms such as purple coneflower, musk mallow, foxglove and more, whilst Hi Butterfly’s smooth blue aster, calendula art shades and rudbeckia offer a burst of colour that will send butterflies flocking! Our Shade Showcase, Clay Display, Bees Please and Hi Butterfly mixes also contain meadow grasses, so this helps to create a nursery for the wildflowers to grow in and therefore helps to prevent weeds.
Sowing a mix that contains meadow grasses is also a good idea if you plan to sow in a large area, as it keeps it weed free and also means when not in bloom, your meadow can provide a habitat for wildlife.
100% wildflower seed mixes (no grasses)
If you want more of a showpiece mix full of blooms within 60-80 days, then our Absolutely Annuals mix will be the perfect choice. Absolutely Annuals is a 100% annuals mix that looks best in beds and borders and helps to complement a well-cared-for lawn by giving it a wild side!
Additionally, our Bloomin' Marvellous Meadow contains a lavish mix of 100% annual and perennial wildflowers, providing a sensational colour-popping display for many seasons.
Step Three: Sow them to grow them!
Once you have prepared your seedbed, picked your mix and fetched any further pesky weeds, you can sow your wildflower seed. The best time to sow wildflower seeds is in spring for summer blooms or in autumn for blooms the following spring. Spring and autumn temperatures are ideal and plenty of rain is about to give your wildflower seeds the head start they need.
Sow your wildflower seed at a rate of 5g per m2, rake it in and firm it down by foot to help embed them. Whilst wildflowers don’t need constant watering, make sure to give them regular water in the first six weeks of growing – especially if there is no rainfall due. Once you pass the six-week mark, you can let our UK weather take care of the rest!
When will my meadow start to grow?
Annual wildflowers will bloom 60-80 days after they are sowed, whilst perennial wildflowers will take up to one year to establish. And if you have sown a wildflower mix containing meadow grasses (Bees Please, Hi Butterfly, Shade Showcase, Clay Display), then the grass will grow first to create a nursery for the wildflowers to follow.
What happens after my wildflower meadow has bloomed?
When your wildflowers end their blooming period, their petals will begin to turn crisp and brown. At this stage you should begin to prepare your meadow for the following year. There are two ways you can get your wildflowers to come back again. One method is to seed save before cutting your meadow, and the other is to cut / strim your meadow down to 7cm and firm the fallen seeds back into the soil. If you want to sow some new wildflower seeds, aim to achieve at least 50% bare soil so that the new seeds have space to grow.
If somehow you are still on the fence about growing your wildflower meadow, make sure to check out our 8 reasons great reasons to sow wildflowers, here!