General gardening topics

How to create a wildflower meadow

Last updated on April 3rd, 2022

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Wildflower meadows are quickly becoming a wonderful alternative to a border in gardens or lawns because they offer of stunning display for months on end and are very easy to maintain. There are many options for the flowers you can cultivate and the best part is that wildflower meadows tend to naturally fill an existing space and offer food and shelter for wildlife including bees, butterflies and other flying insects that so desperately need extra sources of food.

Types of wildflowers

Choosing Perennials or Annuals

You can select annual flowers that give you a one-time show every year or perennial flowers that come back year after year.

Perennial meadows

Perennial meadows tend to do best in poorer soils because the grass competes less with the wildflowers you plant. So, if you want a perennial meadow and you already have the right soil, you are in luck. If, however, you want a wildflower meadow but you have very rich soil, you can rectify this by removing the top layer and adding some subsoil directly into the mix.

Annual meadows

Annual meadows need very rich soil so, if you have rich soil it might be easier to simply grow an annual meadow and resow your wildflower seeds once a year. Annual meadows also make a wonderful choice if you have an existing border garden that you are trying to convert, one with decently rich soil from the result of previously grown flowers.


Choosing Wildflowers

You can typically get packets of wildflower seeds that offer a mixture of grasses and wildflowers for the exact type of soil and location you have. Wherever possible, get seeds that are of British origin so that you can bring back the flowers that naturally grow in your area. Also, make sure that the seed packets you choose work with your local conditions. You don’t want to take plants that come from the countryside if you don’t live in the countryside and force them to grow in your area because this can be destructive to the native species in your area.


When to sow a wildflower meadow

The best time to sow your seeds in March/April, or in September, contingent upon the conditions of your soil. If you have lighter soil, you will be able to plant the seeds in September and they should germinate and establish themselves quite quickly, producing flowers the following spring.

If you have heavier soil, you will want to wait until March or April to plant your seeds because heavy soil won’t allow the plants to establish themselves before the cold winter months, and this can lead to water-logging and damaging the roots before they’ve had a chance to get going. Ideally, it’s just easier to sow the seeds in spring.


Where to sow seeds

These wildflower seed mixes should be planted in a larger area of your garden if possible, where they will be allowed to thrive without fighting for nutrients.

Growing wild flowers

Preparing the area for sowing seed

Once you have the area in question ready, and the seed packet or box, you should prepare the ground where you plan to grow your wildflowers by removing any weeds by hand and adding a weed-suppressing layer to the ground, such as a sheet of black plastic. This should be done three months prior to sowing the seeds so that you can ensure all of the weeds are done away with.

If you are planting on a large area that suffers from perennial weeds, you might want to use chemical control methods in addition to non-chemical methods.

See our recommended weedkillers in this review

Once the area is ready, dig the soil and loosen it, then rake it in preparation for the seeds. You don’t want to add manure or fertiliser at this stage because it can encourage the grass to grow too much, at the expense of the wildflowers.

When you are ready to sow your seeds, you can cover a large area by hand quite easily. Pure wildflower seeds should be grown at 1 gram per square metre, and wildflower and grass mixes should be grown at 5 grams per square metre. Pay attention to the individual mix you have and the instructions that are provided. Do your best to evenly scatter the seeds, rake them in lightly, and water them thoroughly. Once this is done you only need to protect your seeds with netting whilst they are germinating if you have a problem with birds. Other than that, you needn’t do anything but allow the flowers and grasses to grow naturally.

Learn more about preparing the ground for wildflowers in this article.


Potential Problems

If you have a mixture of grasses and wildflowers, one potential problem you might experience is that the grass is growing too strongly and stealing all the nutrients from the flowers. If this is a problem for you, you can reduce the vigour of your grasses by introducing some semi-parasitic plants like lousewort, rattle, or eye brights. These will help to cut down the grasses and allow the wildflowers access to nutrients.

Popular wildflower seeds to buy

Bestseller No. 2
Pronto Seed Wildflower Seed Shaker Twin Pack 100m² Coverage Butterfly and Bee Attracting Wild Flower Seeds fo Planting UK | Easy to Grow, Ideal to Help Save Our Pollinators
  • WILDFLOWER SEED SHAKER TWIN PACK: 2 x 50 square meter shaker boxes each contain 20g of seeds and 500g of bran carrier (sowing medium) per box for a perfect spread of your seeds.
  • BEE & BUTTERFLY WILDFLOWER SEEDS: Each pack contains a wild flower seed mix and sowing medium to help butterfly and bees in your garden
  • WHEN TO SOW: Sow mid-March to June or September to November. Flowers in summer from a spring sowing, or the following spring from an autumn sowing
  • SAVE OUR BEES: Save the our bees and butterflies by sowing these seed shakers anywhere in your garden
  • EVEN COVERAGE: These packs have a compostable wood shaving filler that prevents the seed from clumping together and gives a nice even spread.
Bestseller No. 3
Premium Wildflower Seeds Mix for Beautiful Garden and Landscaping - Non-GMO for Bees, Butterflies, and Hummingbirds - Easy to Grow NO Grass
  • Non-GMO, open-pollinated wildflower seeds for a beautiful and natural garden or landscaping project
  • Easy-to-follow planting instructions for novice and experienced gardeners alike
  • A variety of colorful and fragrant annual and perennial wildflowers, great sourse of foods for animal, bees, butterfly ... to bring life to our wildlife and nutuer
  • Packaged in a resealable bag for easy storage and future use Perfect for adding a sustainable and environmentally-friendly touch to your home or business
  • Great for adding color to borders, meadows, and other natural areas Makes a wonderful gift for gardeners and nature lovers of all ages
Bestseller No. 4
1Kg Pure Wild Flower Meadow Certified Seeds Over 20 Species of Flower Amazing Value Bulk WholesaleMix 777
  • Genuine Certified Seeds
  • Mix 777
  • Mix of Annuals & Perennials
  • Sowing Rate of 1g to 2g per square metre.

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Last update on 2024-04-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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