A common question we are asked is, ‘When is the best time to plant wildflower seeds?' Cornflower and butterfly There are two key times for planting wildflower plants seeds, which are Mid March through to Mid May and Mid August through to Mid October.
The key factors affecting when is the best time to plant Wildflower seeds are as follows;
· Temperature. You need a regular spell of warmer weather ideally consistently over 10 degrees centigrade.
· Frost. You want to avoid late frosts. If there is a spell of warmer weather early on and you sowed seed which started to grow, then a late frost could kill the seedlings.
· Water. You need ideally to have enough moisture for the seed to grow. With seed such as lawns it may pay to water if it does not rain, but our advice with wildflower seed is to wait for nature, at some point it will rain!
· Depth of seed. It is particularly important with fine seed such as in meadows that the seed is not buried too deep. Ideally it should be sown on the top, lightly raked then rolled or walked all over. The aim is to push the seed into the ground rather than bury it too deep.
If the ground is warm enough and wet enough and there is no late frost then the wildflower seed will germinate. There is an important distinction when answering the question, Wildflower seed when to plant, when dealing with Annuals as against perennials. cat in meadow Wild flower annuals such as Poppies and Cornflowers will only flower once. You want to make sure that you get the maximum benefit from them, they take a minimum of 10 /12 weeks from sowing to flowering. So planting them in the Autumn is not an issue. Ideally in the spring you want to try and plant them by Mid April, earlier if possible. The later they are planted after that the shorter the potential flowering season you will get. Perennial Wild flowers generally take longer to establish so the timing is less critical in the spring. The main thing to avoid when dealing with the issue of, Wildflower seed when to plant, is not to plant them when it is the right time for you. Unless it is also the right time and conditions for the seed. If you follow the advice above you should have a successful germination and meadow.
Planting wildflower seeds in your lawn or into an existing grassed area.
Plant wildflower seeds in the spring or autumn
Cut the existing grass back very short
Scarify or rake the ground hard. The aim is for at least 50% bare soil.
Broadcast a 100% wildflower seed mix to match to your soil type
If sowing in the autumn add extra Yellow rattle seeds to the mix.
Finally, roll it or walk all over it to push the seeds into the ground.
Water only if it looks like it will not rain for a while.