How to prepare a seed bed and sow wildflower seeds

Wildflower Seeding

For the greatest success with creating a wildflower meadow, we would recommend clearing the ground first to create the optimal conditions for wildflowers to grow. Sow a grass and wildflower seed mix at 4 grams per square metre, or a 100% wildflower seed mix at 1.5 grams per square metre. Sow the seeds in March-May or August-early October.

Seed Bed Preparation

Whatever type of wildflower seed you sow, the key to success is in the preparation. You need to make sure that the ground is a clear and that a good, even seed bed is created before sowing. For the best results, remove what is growing there already and then give the existing seed bank time to germinate. You should then remove this new growth as well before sowing. Wildflowers are slow to establish and do not like much competition early on, so the more you reduce the competition before sowing the better your chances of success.

Preparing a bare seed bed

Choosing a Wildflower Seed Mix

There are three main options in terms of what you sow;

1.A wildflower meadow mix. This is generally a mixture of grass (80%) and perennial wildflowers (20%). You would sow this at 4 grams per square metre. It is best to sow some grass with the wildflower seed if there is no grass there already, particularly for perennial species of wildflower. The perennials' natural habitat is with grass as a backdrop, and as you are sowing a very small amount of grass per square metre it should not out-compete the wildflowers. The perennials come back year after year.

2. A 100% Wildflower seed mix. Sow this at 1.5-3 grams per square metre. These mixes are best for areas where you have some grass growing already, or if you think grass will grow back naturally. Ideally less than 50% of the ground will be covered with grass. With both of these first two types of mixes you should choose one that matches your soil or conditions.

3. Cornfield annual mix or Cornfield annual gold mix. These mixes last just one year but are very colourful. They can be mixed with a perennial seed mix to act as a temporary nurse crop, discouraging weeds and coarse grasses while the perennials establish. The seed rate is 2 grams per square metre. They prefer more fertile conditions.

Difference between wildflower mixtures

Wildflower Seeding

When the time is right, the ground is ready and you have the right seed mix, it is time to sow the seed. Because of the low seed rate of wildflower seeds, we normally recommend bulking up the seeds with something such as silver sand. It is also advisable to do an bit of experimenting early on to get a sense of the right seed rate as this will feel like a very small amount of seed.

Rake the ground before sowing, then broadcast/scatter the seed mixture. Ideally you should then roll the ground or walk all over it afterwards. This pushes the seed into the ground rather than burying it too deep. Then leave it well alone. Cornfield annual mixes can establish relatively quickly, whilst perennial mixes will be slower to establish and appear much more 'patchy' when growing.

If you need any more information or advice please feel free to contact us directly by phone or e-mail.

Woman in a british wildflower meadow