Who doesn’t love wildflowers? They bring joy and magic to any shimmer of sadness. Wildflowers remind us that there’s beauty in the world. In ode to the rejuvenation of spring and summer, we can all be mindful to the benefits of wildflowers. They are more than just whimsical, wildflowers attract bees as they provide the first bounty of nectar to a season of botanical vibrance. If you’re looking for more wildflowers in your life, you can create and grow a meadow right in your backyard and help the bee population.
If you don’t have much experience growing wildflowers, it’s a good idea to start small. Here are a few pointers to get you started on a small scale meadow at home.
Choosing the Best Spot
Wildflowers are just that- wild. They can withstand a lot of sunlight and don’t require much watering. They are some of the most humble of flowers as they grow wild and free in acceptance of what nature supplies them. It’s best to find a spot along the fence or in the corner where there’s a lot of sunshine (at least 4 hours of sun a day). The more sunlight, the better. The area should also not be prone to flooding, so good drainage is important. The spot should also be convenient for upkeep and maintenance so you can access with reasonable ease.
Wildflowers are marvelous because they can flourish in any type of soil. With that said, regardless of what soil your yard has, it’s best to overturn the soil a bit to freshen up the space and dedicate it to sowing of the seeds. This will also give you a chance to overturn any weeds that may harness the growth of the wildflowers. On a positive note, native wildflowers coincide with each other so well that when they are condensed into the meadow, the roots will over power the area in that there will be limited space for weeds.
Seed & Sow
The best time to sow is after the first frost. The best seeds are native seeds. Check with your local nursery to get a good idea of what wildflower seeds are native to your region. Those are the seeds you need. The size of your space will determine how many seeds you need. You will also need to mix your seeds with an inert material, such as light sand, vermiculate or sawdust. A good general rule of thumb is you will need enough seeds combined with the inert material to cover the entire space you dedicate for the mini meadow. You can spread the seed mixture by hand-broadcasting. The inert material will help you identify where you broadcasted so you don’t miss a spot. After you have sowed, you can either roll over with a roller, rake gently or sprinkle over with soil. Your seeds will germinate when the time is right, so if you planted too early, or even too late, they will remain dormant until it’s time to shine.
Though meadows don’t require a lot of hands on maintenance, they still need a bit of attention. After the first growing season, it’s recommended to mow the area. Just be sure to mow after the flowers have dried and dropped seeds. Don’t mow in the fall or winter as whatever growth occurs after your first mow will help protect the seedlings and baby growth for the following growing season.
Wildflowers are a great way to give back to the community. Honey bees will love you for it and you can say thank you to the honey bee by giving them sweet wildflowers to forage on. If you try to do a mini meadow, please share your experience in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!