- Wildflower Seeds
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How to Grow Wildflowers and Not Weeds? I have watched in despair as some of my neighbors have created a wildflower bed in their yard, and have ended with the biggest, ugliest patch of weeds I have ever seen. Why ?
There are two reasons for having more weeds than flowers.
First of all, one needs to understand what kind of a place wildflowers like to play in. They prefer wide open spaces with at least 8 hours of sunshine each day, as they true sun worshipers. They also like the soil to be rich in nutrients, and well drained. They do not like soil that is hard packed, and they do not like their roots soaking wet, just wet and for only a short period of time.
If you have an area that tends to be wet and stays wet, then wildflowers are not for you.
Wildflowers can be used for weed control, and with a great deal of success. However you have to give the wildflowers an advantage, or the weeds will keep the area "Wildflower Free". Since weeds and wildflowers both love the sun the first one that reaches the top first wins. Since either will grow well without adequate sunlight, you must use the thought that you want the weeds to suffer by not allowing them to get sun and if you use this to your advantage you can have a beautiful bed of wildflowers that requires little maintenance.
The secret is preparing the bed for flowers. You must create a bed that is as weed free as possible.
Remember DO NOT work the soil any deeper than one inch.
Planting the wildflower seeds.
Sowing wildflower seeds is one of the simplest forms of gardening, fun do do with kids and a rewarding activity for gardeners of all ages. A few simple steps will increase your success in wildflower gardening.
First, find out what your gardening zone is. Take a look at our zoning information. Don't plant wildflowers when frost is still a danger in the early months of the year, or when frost is about to set in near year's end. In most regions, the optimal planting time for wildflowers begins as soon as all danger of frost has past and warmer days are ahead.
Do you live in California, Florida or southern Texas? Times of frost are minimal in your area, and you can plant wildflowers in all but the coldest weeks of the year, or the very hottest part of summer. In California, most gardeners plant their wildflower seed in the early winter, so that it is sitting there ready for the first rains to wake it up! In Florida, however, fall is a better time to plant wildflower seeds.
Are you in a rainy corner of the country? Plant before your local rainy season begins, ensuring that your wildflowers will have plenty of time to germinate and establish themselves before summer heat hits in.
In many parts of the country, both annual and perennial wildflower seeds will become permanent parts of the garden, growing either via reseeding or by living on from year to year on their own roots.
If you aren't sure about your zone or optimal wildflower planting time, you can contact your local Ag Department.
How To Plant Your Wildflower Seeds: To ensure even sowing of wildflower seeds, try mixing sand or vermiculite with 1/2 the amount of seeds you've purchased. Sow by scattering this throughout the desired area, and then go back over the area with the plain seed (not mixed with sand or vermiculite). This will help you to avoid a patchy look.
Don't rake or cover your wildflower seeds with dirt. Instead, after you've finished scattering the wildflower seed, simply walk over the area in your shoes - or barefoot if you're a nature-loving guy or gal! This will gently compress the seeds into the soil without burying them.
The best time to plant in your area depends on the climate and rainfall patterns as well as the species you are planting. In cool climates, plant annuals, perennials or mixtures of annuals and perennials in spring, early summer or late fall. Fall plantings should be late enough so that seeds do not germinate until spring. Perennials can also be sown in early fall provided that there are at least 10-12 weeks of growing time before the plants go dormant for the winter. Late fall plantings are advantageous when supplemental irrigation cannot be provided and adequate rainfall is anticipated in the spring.
In mild climates, plant during the cooler months of the year; fall through spring, for best results. Fall plantings done prior to periods of rainfall will insure an early display of flowers the following spring.
Moisture: All seeds, including wildflowers, need ample moisture to germinate and to develop into healthy seedlings. Best results will be obtained by soaking the planted areas thoroughly and maintaining consistent moisture for 4-6 weeks -- then gradually reducing watering. In non-irrigated situations, plant in the spring or before periods of anticipated rainfall. After seedlings are established, watering may be reduced depending on the climate and rainfall. In arid climates or during drought conditions, up to 1/2 inch of supplemental water per week may be required to maintain an optimal display. If weeds are present, remember that they benefit from moisture as much as the wildflowers and may dominate over watered areas.
Many wildflowers benefit from some fertilization if the soil does not have adequate nutrients. Some wildflowers do fine in poor soils, while others require a more fertile environment. We recommend that a soil test be performed when soil quality is unknown. If the soil needs improvement, use a low nitrogen fertilizer with a 5-10-10 ratio or add organic matter such as weed-free straw or grass clippings, well-rotted compost, peat moss, or leaf mold. In addition to adding nutrients, organic materials enhance soil structure and encourage beneficial microorganisms. Avoid over-fertilizing which may promote weed growth and lush foliage rather than flowers.
Each fall, you will need to do an annual mowing of your wildflower garden. Set your mower to high and go over the entire area. And that's all you need to do. Unlike other types of gardening where you are buying starts or established plants and putting them in specific places, wildflower gardening comes with a built-in element of adventure. You will sow your seeds just where you want them this year, but Mother Nature may give you some surprises next year when she resows the seeds and comes up with a whole new work of living art for your enjoyment! All of our flowers, vegetable and herb seeds are Non-GMO as well and neonicotinoid-free.