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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.

  • You can do this by removing all the vegetation from the area you intend to plant in, and then prepare the soil for planting by tilling or raking to a depth of just one inch or less.
  • Do not disturb the soil any deeper than that, or you will just disturb dormant weed seeds that are just waiting to be brought back to the surface so they can grow.
  • You should consider spraying the existing vegetation with Roundup before you remove it. This will kill all the roots that might still be in the soil.
  • Keep in mind that you need to spray the weeds or grass with Roundup at least three days before you disturb them. If you feel that the area you have chosen has significant amount of weed seed near the surface, you might consider letting the soil sit for about six days after you work it, then work it again. Do this over and over, but don't work the soil more than one inch deep. The longer you continue this process the more apt you are to get the bed as weed free as possible.
  • Most weed seeds germinate rather quickly, so when you bring them to the surface through your cultivation efforts, you are giving them a chance to germinate. But then when you work the soil again in six days, you will actually interrupt the germination process and the seed will be spent. The longer you continue the process, the fewer viable weed seeds you will have to contend with. Of course additional seeds are blowing in all the time, so it's unrealistic to think that you can create a planting bed that is free of weed seed.
  • The most important aspect of this process is to have your bed as ready as possible, at the ideal time for planting wildflower seeds. The secret of success is to plant the wildflower seeds at the ideal time so they take off growing immediately, and beat the weeds at their own game.
  • So when is the ideal time? Depends on where you live. If you're in zones one through six, you should plant in the spring. If you're in zones seven through 11, you should probably plant in the fall.
  • Wildflower seeds like warm soil. They will germinate best with a soil temperature of 68 to 70 degrees F. So if you live in a cooler region, you should wait until later in the spring to plant. There's no point planting when the soil temperature is 45 degrees and have the seeds just lay there while some of the weeds seeds germinate. You'd be much better off to continue working the soil as described above until the soil temperature is up to 68 degrees.

Remember DO NOT work the soil any deeper than one inch.

Planting the wildflower seeds.

  • The best way to plant your wildflower seeds is to distribute them with a small hand held broadcast spreader, or to apply them in a manor that mimics that technique. In order to get the best coverage you should thoroughly mix the seeds with dry sand, vermiculite, or potting soil to increase the volume before you spread them. It's a lot easier to evenly distribute five pounds of granular material over an area than it is 8 ounces.
  • As you spread the seeds walk in straight lines from one end of the bed to the other. Then do the same thing from the side of the bed in a crisscross pattern to the first set of footsteps you made. This will give you thorough and even distribution. This is why you should mix the seeds with some sort of filler material before you start, so you have plenty of volume to work with, and will be able to cover the area completely and evenly.
  • Wildflower seeds have germination periods of 6 to 28 days, so you have to keep this in mind as you plan your garden. If you select a variety that has a 28 day germination period, you should select a second variety with a much quicker germination period and mix them together before sowing.
  • If you were to sow only seeds with a 28 day germination period the weeds would get a jump on the wildflowers, and you would likely end up with a weed garden. When you mix seeds with different germination periods, the faster germinating seeds will come up very quick, and act as a nurse crop for the seeds that need more time, keeping the weeds and birds at bay until all the seeds can germinate.

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.