Creating a Wild Flower Meadow In Your Garden

Creating a wild flower meadow in your garden is a great ecological step. It can be great for local wildlife and can increase biodiversity. It is also a way of cherishing an ecosystem that is unfortunately becoming rather endangered in the wild.

Many people might create displays of wild flowers and grasses but the most valuable wild flower meadows are ones that mimic the ones that are found in the natural environment in the area where you live. Be sure to work with the plants that are found in wild flower meadows in your local area. Never plant non-native plants or those of unknown provenance, especially in sensitive conservation areas.

One of the main things to consider when planting a wild flower meadow, however large or small, is that this is a habitat that thrives on soil of poor fertility. There is no point in trying to create a meadow area on a very fertile patch of ground. For a start, it will not be as successful and secondly, that ground will be better used to create a useful yield – it is it not too shady, consider growing fruit and vegetables on that spot instead.

In an area of high fertility, grasses tend to thrive and out-compete the more delicate wild flowers. Seed should be sown in an area that has been cleared of weeds and raked to a reasonably fine tilth in March or April or in September. On lighter soils, the seeds will usually germinate rather quickly and so an autumn sowing is fine, though you would be better to sow in spring if you have a heavier soil. Water-logging over the winter can cause seeds to rot.

Even larger areas of your garden can be easily sown by hand. To make sure that you spread the seed evenly, it sometimes helps to mix the seed with some soil to make it easier to scatter. As a rough rule, grass and wild flower mixes should usually be spread at around 5g per sq m, though you should follow the instructions on the mix you buy. Birds may pose a threat to seeds so you may wish to protect the seeds with netting in the early stages if they become a problem.

You might need to make additional sowings in the first few years to build up the seed bank of a perennial wildflower meadow area but after that the area should be low maintenance and is a good choice for low-effort wildlife friendly gardens. In the shorter term, you should be able to enjoy the first blooms as soon as three months after sowing.

Leave the plants to self seed and simply allow the ecosystem to self-perpetuate, simply clearing away the debris in the spring as required.

A wildflower meadow will be a beautiful and natural addition to your garden, particularly in a non-fertile or not particularly fertile area that is not ideal for other planting. It can be a boon to you and the wildlife that shares your garden for years to come.

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