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Back Lawn to Wildflower Patch

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  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 BristolPosts: 1,367

    http://www.pictorialmeadows.co.uk/product-category/perennial-meadow-seeds/

    Lyn..thanks for that

    I chose pollinator lawn

    I bought from these people because they supply councils and colleges and big sites and where I volunteer they had already sown the meadow and it looked great so I could see what mine was going to look like

    I bought a cheap packet for about £9.00 previously from my overpriced GC which contained 5 types of blue flowers...corn something ...and only one type took and was not very hardy

    I suppose we get what we pay for and lets see what comes up in April

    Thanks again Lyn

    Never change Tigers in Mid Stream
  • 1st - get rid of all the grass,

    some websites say you can either leave it and it will miraculously become wildflower meadow (hogwash) or you just need to over seed (utter rubbish-and a total waste of seed) what you end up with if you do that is overgrown grass. (known in environmental conservation circles as rank grassland)

    so remove the grass, you can either de-turf - the best idea as it remove the rich topsoil (and my preference) or weed kill and rotavate.

    so in spring, once de-turfed you need to dig the soil over, wait a couple of weeks then hoe - this kills all the weed seedlings starting to grow then sow a decent wildflower and grass seed mix over the area (these grasses are not the same as lawn grasses)

    if you have money to burn you can buy wildflower turf, but really seed is cheaper and easier.

  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 BristolPosts: 1,367

    Treehugger

    As above I have already sowed so just need to wait until April but thanks for your post

    Never change Tigers in Mid Stream
  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 BristolPosts: 1,367
    Swear word waste of time as only 2 plants took.  >:)
    I chucked the seeds "away" onto a bit of scrub garden and wait for it...........they took !
    Never change Tigers in Mid Stream
  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,915
    first you need to remove all the turf and soil down about 3-4 inches, otherwise all you'll get is grass growing, wildflowers need the poorest soil you can get, subsoil rather than topsoil if you can get it.

    then depending on how much money you have to spend either wildflower turf it (about £45 per M squared) or seed it (more like £4 M square) get a good mix of seed, it needs to be about 60% meadow grass seed (not the stuff you use for a lawn) and 40% wildflower seed, you can add wildflower plugs the following year if you need to enhance it more.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 6,255
    I have friends who used the meadow turf and it took really well. It might be worth trying some of your area with that to see how that area takes - with a low grass seed ratio. There are now various companies that make it, and offer various options.
  • I think I know the answer to this but will ask anyway!  Is it possible to be successful without removing the fertile top soil?  I am able, over time, to de-turf but don't have the physical or financial means to remove/substitute the topsoil.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 16,678
    edited July 2018
    Yes.  Leave your existing lawn as it is. Add some wild flower mix (not annuals).

    If you are going for a perennial meadow type area, just wait for the flowers to have set seed and then cut the grass. The dry seeds will fall out onto the short sward.

    Leave the cut grass for a couple of dry days to let anything else escape (frogs etc) and then put that on the compost heap.

    After several years of removing grass and flower stalks, your meadow will become progressively less fertile. The grass will become shorter (especially if you live in an alkaline area and throw on some yellow rattle seeds) and the flowers will flower better.

    It all takes time though. Don’t expect miracles in two years. Some really beautiful meadows are hundreds and hundreds of years old.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 6,255
    edited July 2018
    It does often take time and patience, I think this part of the frustration. Sprinkling seed in the hope that some will take, this really doesn't work. You can waste a lot of money.

    The gardeners at Sissinghurst have done incredibly well in converting lawn to successful and very diverse wild flower meadow in just a few years (as I understand it). I'm quite intrigued by how they did it. It must have been a lot of work.
  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 BristolPosts: 1,367
    treehugger80    I did all that and tended it well

    I think I will look at it again in the Spring..Thanks folks.
    Never change Tigers in Mid Stream
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