Landscaping with wildflowers is becoming increasingly popular. These wonderful displays of beauty are incredibly self-sufficient. Wildflowers dazzle your gardens with sprays of color with a powerful endurance not often noted in domesticated garden flowers. No need to worry about soils of low fertility; wildflowers adapt wonderfully in these types of soil.
Meadow gardening is becoming quite popular with its native wildflowers and non-competitive grass. Combine these two to create a panoramic garden of beautiful colors and shapes. Natural habitat will love it too! Can you think of a better way to relax than to stroll amongst paths of endless color and natural beauty?
Wildflowers are low in cost as they reseed themselves and bloom again the following year. They are also easy to maintain as they basically need no fertilizing or trimming, and require little water.
How To Plant Wildflowers
For best results, choose a location where there is full sunlight.
To prepare small areas for your wildflowers, start first by removing the weeds already in your garden. This should be followed with raking or roto-tilling the soil.
For large areas, mow the plants or foliage as short as you can and then follow this step by using a flail mower or harrow. This will allow you to break up the top two inches of the soil.
Make sure to water these areas several times during the first two or three weeks. This will encourage the weed seeds to germinate. After a few more weeks, spray the weeds with Clear-It and remove all of the dead plants. Wait at least one to two weeks before you plant the wildflower seeds.
It's actually better not to fertilize the soil for your wildflowers, as they do best in low-fertility soil. High nitrogen soils increase the number of weeds in your wildflower garden and diminish the view of your flowers.
The time to sow is in the Spring. You can plant your wildflowers in the summer if there is a lot of water available, but your planting will not continue the following year, unless it is planted about 8-10 weeks before the predicted frost.
It is alright to plant later in the fall; wildflower seeds will begin to grow in the spring. The disadvantage of planting at this time is that the warmer weather conditions and rain could cause the seed to germinate and then may die during the winter from the freezing. There is also the possibility of the seeds being eaten by birds when they are sitting on the ground for longer periods of time.
Because of the huge difference in sizes of the seeds, blending fine sand and vermiculite (2:1 sand to seed) is recommended for wildflowers. This will allow more even distribution.
Hand-scattering the seeds in small areas, works very well. Cover up the seed by raking it in to about a depth of 1/8-1/4 of an inch. Do not cover the seeds too deeply, or it will fail and your work will be all for nothing.
Post Planting Care
You must keep the soil, where the seeds are planted, moist for at least 4-6 weeks and water if necessary to encourage germination. As the plants gradually begin to grow, you can water less. Many wildflowers need little water to coexist, but they still need a fairly adequate amount in order to germinate.
Seedling should start to appear in 2-3 weeks and you should see your first flowers in about 6-10 weeks.
Around the middle of October, when most of the flowers have finished blooming, you can mow the area to a height of about 4-6 inches. This will help to disperse the matured seeds for the following year.
Add new seed the following spring, to discourage weed growth and to establish the planting.
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