With a hint of the wild, a wildflower meadow undeniably has charming appeal! As vibrant as it is laid-back to care for, it embellishes poor soil with field flowers in varied hues. Learn how to create a flowering meadow in your urban or countryside garden!
What’s the best location for a wildflower patch?
Wildflower seed blends for “fallow” flowering meadows will always thrive, especially in poor soil. If the soil is too rich, it will favor foliage and grasses at the expense of flowers.
A good thing to know is that there are blends for shady areas and tree bases. The flowering meadow will cover the entire surface with its sparkling flowers! Use it to dress up a mound or to fill somewhat bland land parcels.
Here’s a fun way to turn a wildflower patch truly enjoyable: draw a winding path through it with your lawnmower to create a small refuge in a little clearing smack in the middle!
When to sow the flower meadow?
Sowing is done ideally in fall because winter will strengthen the seeds. Indeed, once it takes hold, all varieties will naturally reseed themselves when seeds fall in early autumn.
However, it also works to sow in spring between March and May.
Which wildflower seeds to choose?
There are many meadow flower mixes in garden centers and online.
- By color: blue, white, pink, red, orange, etc.
- To ward off pests: anti-aphids, against Colorado beetles, etc.
- To promote biodiversity: attract butterflies, pollinators, take care of allies, etc.
- By style: feminine, rustic, elegant, etc.
- By constraint: dry terrain, difficult terrain, shaded areas, etc.
Make your own mix
Most of the time, ready-made mixes have more grasses than actual flowering perennials. Yet, the flowers are what bring all the charm to this arrangement! Go ahead and make it yourself for a better result by combining 60% perennials, 20% grasses, and 20% legumes.
Here are some ideal plants for a flower fallow:
- Perennials for dry soil: yarrow, red valerian, mallow, poppy, centaurea, nigella, wallflower, viperine, wild chamomile, cosmos, etc.
- Perennials for cooler, wet soil: coreopsis, lavatera, borage, sage, geum, columbine, yarrow, goldenrod, evening primrose, etc.
- Grasses: rush, carex, fescue, etc.
- Legumes: clover, lupine, vetch, bird’s foot trefoil, etc.
How to create a wildflower garden?
Prepping the ground
If you’re starting with a dirt surface, all you need is a rake and some elbow grease to get rid of the weeds you don’t want in your meadow. Already have a lawn? No worries! Existing turf will make an excellent base for your meadow. Just give it a good scarify to expose some patches of soil. Then, only sow perennial flowers. Over time, they’ll overrun the grass even if you let it grow naturally.
It’s enough to only have about ⅓ ounce/sq. yard (10g/m²) so that your plants aren’t too crammed. Open the bag, pour some seeds in your hand and throw them on the ground with wide swinging motions, releasing the seeds so they spread evenly. This is what we call broadcast sowing. Water regularly until germination; a moist soil ensures good seed germination.
How to Maintain a Wildflower Meadow?
Once seedlings have sprouted, no watering is necessary. Also, don’t use any fertilizer, it would do more harm than good for your idle plot. Maintenance consists only of two mowings a year. The first around July and the second in October. This matches the end of the flowering period when flowers have gone to seed and seeds have already fallen to the ground.
If you don’t mow, woody plants would take over after a few years.
Grab your brush cutter, then collect the stems to add to your compost or mulch. This is the only upkeep required by the wildflower meadow in return for several months of beautiful natural flowers.