How to start a Wildflower Meadow

At WildaHome, we simply can’t get enough of wildflowers and wildflower meadows. They make a gorgeously rich display of beauty and colour for everyone to enjoy, but more importantly, they create biodiverse habitats for all our British wildlife. Wildflower meadows provide feeding and nesting ground not just for bees and butterflies, and other insects but also birds and small mammals.

Creating a wildflower meadow may sound easier said than done, but that’s where WildaHome comes in. Our wild but friendly bunch of nature lovers are on hand to tell you just how easy it can be, and if you still get stuck, you can always drop us a line. We’ll be pleased to help in any way we can.

Choosing Wildflower Seeds

First and foremost, it’s essential to choose the type of meadow that will be most successful on the site you’ve chosen. Let’s face it; you wouldn’t want all your hard work resulting in a wildflower flop. It’s therefore essential to know what your soil type is as it’s this that determines which plants will flourish and those that won’t. At WildaHome, we like to make it easy by letting you know which soil types our wildflower seed mixes will thrive on, meaning you can be confident that the mix you choose is suited to your local conditions. Our seed mixes are all British native, too, meaning you don’t need to worry about contaminating your site with non-native plants.

Annuals offer a one-off show with only the dormant seeds crossing over into the next growing season. Perennials persist for three years or more and biennials for two years. By choosing a good mix of seeds will ultimately provide a vibrant display for many months and years. At WildaHome, you’ll find we offer various seed mixes that incorporate 100% wildflower seeds and 80/20 mixes that include grass species. Our products helpfully provide precisely which species of wildflower or grass is incorporated along with their growing periods. We also offer seed mixes specifically to encourage bees and butterflies– the choice is yours.

Ground Preparation

If your site is relatively small, then the most environmentally friendly way is to remove any weeds by hand or cover them with a weed-suppressing membrane or black plastic for at least three months before sowing. If your ground contains vigorous weeds such as nettles and dandelions, then you need to ensure they’re removed by digging them out and removing the roots. For more significant sites, it may make sense to instruct a landscaper with the required machinery. For land that’s unsuitable for machinery, it may be necessary to use non-residual systemic glyphosate weedkillers to remove existing vegetation.

Once the ground is completely free of vegetation, the soil needs to be dug or rotovated, followed by raking to make a seedbed. Similar to what you would do for a new lawn. You shouldn’t incorporate any fertiliser or manure, which will only promote high fertility, encouraging vigorous grasses that will eventually crowd out the wildflowers. Allow around four to six weeks for the soil to settle and to allow for any weed seeds to germinate so that they can be hoed off before sowing.

Sowing

The seed mix should then be sown by hand, even if your area is large. Yes, you read it right! It’s still easy to do, and the fresh air is good for you. We recommend sowing pure wildflower seed at 1.5g per square metre, and our 80/20 seed mixes sown at 5g per square metre. We make buying the right amount of seed super easy as we’ve already done the hard part and calculated what quantity of seed you’ll need for every square metre you need to cover.

To ensure the seed is scattered evenly, we recommend sowing half of the seed mix widthways and then the remaining half lengthways. Just roll or rake in lightly to give good contact between the seed and the soil, and then water
thoroughly. After that, you can sit back and relax and leave the plants to grow naturally, but keep an eye on the birds. If they prove to be a problem, you may need to protect the seed with netting.

Seed Mats

Seed mats can be laid directly onto prepared soil (as with loose seed) and then 25mm of soil (low nutrient/poor is advisable) is laid on top. Aftercare is then the same as loose seeds.

Aftercare

If your site is manageable, then during dry spells, you can water your meadow until germination. If your area is large, this is unlikely to be possible, so waiting for the rain may be your only option. During the first summer, we recommend hand weeding out any weeds not included in the seed mix.

So, what are you waiting for?

Make the decision today to create something beautiful for you and others to enjoy, and nature will love. It doesn’t matter if your site is small or large. By developing these stunning wildflower meadows, you’re helping the environment and providing crucial habitat for all sorts of insects and small mammals to survive and thrive. Do something incredible and decide to make a wildflower meadow today!

Get Some Advice

It’s a win-win situation for developers, residents and wildlife and one we’re very excited about. With a growing awareness of the need for individuals, companies and governments to take effective action to protect the environment, we see this as an important opportunity for different partners to work together and create sustainable, thriving communities of the future.
For more information about Wildahome’s consultancy services, contact Paul Stenning on 0333 242 0602 Or use the button below to get advice