I am so excited to have Annie from 15 Acre Homestead as our guest today! I have seen pictures of her wild gardens and they are amazing! I absolutely love wildflowers and her approach is simple and informative!
Join in with Annie, me, and 25 other gardeners offering up their expertise at the Spring Garden Giveaway! from March 20-31 to get all kinds of Ebooks, charts, cheat sheets, and other cool Free Stuff! you can sign up now.
How To Start A Wildflower Meadow
Like almost all other things created by and in nature, you will find that wildflowers are quite amazing creatures. They grow in beauty and splendor. Some live to see the changes of the seasons while others terminate in a shorter season. Nonetheless, there is a beauty that all wildflowers share. And to see them in a wildflower meadow is seldom duplicated by other species of flowers.
A wildflower meadow is something you would not dismiss for being just-another-creation of the wild. No. Wildflowers are not your typical leaves-petals-roots-stem creatures. They are the very plants that give glory to even the humblest patches of land.
So there is no reason actually for not wanting to grow a wildflower meadow of your own. So here are some of the tips to help you establish your own wildflower meadow on your property.
A More Exciting Alternative to a Traditional Garden
Are you tired of the dull look of your lawn? Are you bored with a traditional garden? If you are, then you should shift to a wildflower meadow. A wildflower meadow is said to be more colorful and provide more interesting visual appeal. Some even refer to it as dynamic. This is because it does not just beam with beauty. It also provides ecological benefits like the creation of a habitat for insects and butterflies. It is also noted for its low maintenance as compared to traditional vegetable or flower gardens.
Keep in mind, though, a wildflower meadow takes a bit longer to establish. It also takes longer to reap the benefits of the results. So, how would you start creating a wildflower meadow from scratch? Remember that wildflowers are very tough creatures. Unlike traditional garden flowers, they could survive in almost all living conditions. They can beat, literally, from the harshest to well-nurtured settings. You want to be able to maximize the growth and beauty of the species of wildflowers you want growing in your garden. Therefore, it is best to research first on what conditions they could best adapt to. Then research the conditions that they would barely sustain with.
The Wildflower Meadow: Environment
It is best to know what specific environment a wildflower is normally found in. You should look for its natural environment. This way, you will know how to perfectly maintain the species you are growing. All you need to do is to help it settle in your garden, give it a shower of love and watch it bloom into maturity.
Some wildflowers can live year after year. So if the seeds you spread in the garden don't bloom yet, it doesn’t mean they won't ever bloom. Maybe the seeds are just waiting for their own season to come.
As you might remember, wildflowers are well suited to the wild. There is obviously no one to tend for them there. This is the main reason why they are very low-cost and needs minimum maintenance. You only have to make the wildflower meadow very suitable for their survival and voila! - You will readily have a self-supporting garden.
Wildflower Meadow: From Prep To Planting
You have to take the time to let them get established. Especially since they are not in their native setting. Also, if you want to eliminate the weeds and the grass you have to strategically work on some preparations. While some wildflowers could live alongside weeds and other vegetations, others would are not well-suited for competition. Thus, it is best to learn first which wildflowers should be grown in an appropriate distance from weeds.
Prepare the Ground
First, you need to prepare the ground. Good ground preparation is very important because the growth of your wildflower seeds will greatly depend on it. One secret to a good ground preparation is a low fertility soil. Why is this so? Because a fertile soil can cause the vigorous growth of some grasses and weeds which are not good for your wildflower meadow when it is starting to grow. To reduce soil fertility, you need to strip off the top 5 to 10 cm of topsoil. After that, rake and roll the soil lightly in order to prepare the seedbed.
Sow Your Seeds
After you prepare the ground, you can start to sow the seeds. If you want the best results, you should sow your wildflower seed in early fall. Although you can sow in any month, the best time would be a colder winter-type month so that it would be easy to break the seed's built-in dormancy. If you decide to sow in spring, you can expect the seeds to germinate longer. After sowing, rake the soil lightly, making sure not to cover the seeds completely.
An ideal wildflower meadow requires a basic mixture of wildflower species and native grasses. There is wisdom in incorporating the natural components of their real settings since these are where wildflowers are most well adapted.
Care Of your Wildflower Meadow
Once the seeds are planted, you have to take steps in taking care and looking after your new wildflower meadow. In time, the seeds will germinate and grasses will grow. They will reach a height of up to 10 cm. As soon as you notice this, you need to cut your meadow. This step will reduce those unwanted weeds which will hinder the growth of your wildflower. Some of these weeds that you should look out for are the chickweed and the groundsel.
If you see docks and thistles, you should also remove them. Remember also, that cutting your meadow should be done every 6 to 8 weeks during the first year. Don't forget that it is best to cut it once in fall and another in early spring. After doing so, remove the cuttings to avoid build-up of dead plant material. This also prevents unwanted weeds and other plants from taking over. This will help a lot in establishing your wildflower meadow.
A wildflower meadow is not as visually striking as a cut flower garden. But wildflowers are more diverse which makes them a lot more intriguing and beautiful than a traditional flower garden indeed.
These are some helpful steps in order to convert that dull lawn or traditional garden into a more exciting and vibrant wildflower meadow. Although the result may take a longer time, everything will be worth the wait once you see your wildflowers starting to bloom.
Are you ready to start your wildflower meadow?
About the Author:
More stuff by Annie: