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Planting a New Wildflower Patch

You can sow a wildflower patch in six easy steps.

Wildflower or Meadow Seed Mix, Spade, Fork and Rake, Dry Sand, Garden Hose or Watering Can and Bird Scarer or Bird Proof Netting


Step one: cultivate the soil

Clear any existing vegetation. Take extra care to remove weeds, such as thistles and nettles, using a spade if necessary.

Fork over the soil to loosen it, remove any weeds and big stones, then rake the soil level.

Step two: prepare the seeds

Mix your seeds with a small amount of dry sand to make it easy to scatter them evenly; this is particularly useful with 100% Wildflower Seeds, as it can be difficult to sow at such a low seed rate. Use bamboo canes to mark out 1 metre squares to help you sow at the recommended rate and follow the g per m² measurement on your seed packet. Typically it will be 2g per 1m² for a 100% wildflower seed mix and 4g per 1m² for an 80/20 meadow mix.

Step three: sow the seeds

Wildflower seeds are best sown in spring (March to May) or late summer/early autumn (August to October). Autumn is generally considered the best time, as there are less weeds for the seeds to compete with.

Choose a calm day with no wind and when the soil is moist.

Split your seed and sand mixture into two equal batches. With the first batch, scatter the seeds up and down the whole area, using a wrist flicking action. For the second batch, scatter the seeds side to side. Try your best to have similar coverage in each square metre and make sure you go right to the edges.

Step four: firm down the seeds

Lightly press the seeds into the soil using the back of your rake, or gently tread them in. For larger areas you can use a roller. This will ensure good germination, but take care not to bury them too deeply.

Gently water the area with a fine spray hose or with a watering can if there is no rain forecast within the next couple of days.

Step five: protect your seeds

It makes sense to protect your seeds from birds until they have germinated. You can use bird proof netting or use some other form of bird repellent, such as a line of CDs or some toy plastic windmills.

Step six: enjoy your wildflower seeds

Gently water seedlings once a week if the weather is dry. It normally takes about two weeks for seedlings to appear. Some plants will flower in less than two months, others will take a little longer.

If sown in spring, you will see most of the flowers in the summer of the same year.

If sown in autumn, you will see most of the flowers early the following spring.

Bear in mind that you will see more colour in future years.