Wildflower - Lawn Seed Mix

Hello Everyone

We are building a new timber frame house and would like to take the opportunity to landscape for wildlife as best we can. Apart from planting 6 native hedge types we would like a lawn that is not only grass but contains wildflower seed and spring bulbs.

Is there anything in particular we need to pay attention to with the wildflower lawn seed mix

We are likely to move into our house in July, when is the earliest that spring bulbs hit the market to buy and when is the best time to plant

Kind regards 

Posts

  • You tend to plant spring bulbs (crocuses, daffodils etc) by the end of September. This works well because September is also the best time to seed a lawn. 

    So move into your place, prep the garden in July/August, leave for a few weeks to allow unwelcome weeds to grow and remove them, plant your bulbs, then sow your grass seed.

    It would be worth deciding which bulbs you want to plant and then looking into each one to see when they need to be planted. E.g. if you want snowdrops, they're better planted in the green around now. Same goes for winter aconites. For these, IMHO it's best to sow the lawn in Sept still, then disturb the lawn in Feb to plant snowdrops etc. You'll probably want to overseed a few thinner patches in Spring anyway, so it doesn't matter too much if you damage the lawn a little by planting bulbs in winter because you can repair it when you overseed in the Spring.

    I like the idea of planting Spring bulbs in my lawn, but note that you can't mow until the bulbs' leaves have died back. This is to allow the bulbs time to create the energy for the next Spring's flowers. I don't like the idea of my whole lawn being messy while the bulbs photosynthesise, so I plan to only put bulbs in a certain bit, e.g. a grassy bank, and then mow the rest.

    As for wildflower mixes, it's worth scrutinising what seeds they include. I bought a cheap mix last year and the plants that grew weren't at all what I expected! These tend to be sown in the Spring.

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 1,742

    I'm confused by a wild flower lawn. You can have a lawn or you can have grass with wild flowers in it but it won't be a lawn. Wild flowers will grow taller than lawn grass and cannot be mown until they have seeded, so the area will have long grass with other plants mixed in for most of the time. When you finally mow it in September, say, the grass remaining may well be yellowed, like a hay field, because it has grown so tall, seeded, and the flowering stems begun to die back. I am not criticising your choice, just pointing out the difference in case you are not aware of it.

  • Have a look at Emorsgate Seeds. (https://wildseed.co.uk/ )

    They do a lot of wildflower mixes, so you can choose the one that is closest to what you want and that will suit your conditions. They give advice too for establishing meadows and individual plants. I have not used this company myself , but others have reported favourably on it and it is apparently good enough for Highgroveimage

    You could also drool over the Pictorial Meadows site:

    http://www.pictorialmeadows.co.uk/product/native-meadow/ 

    but most of their meadows do not contain just native plants and the one that does has no grasses! They seem more expensive to me and they give less detail about the mixes, but the pictures are delicious!

    Generally speaking wildflowers need lower nutrient levels to enable them to compete with grasses, so it can help to remove some of the topsoil. If your garden is currently a building site, that may be possible foir you to do, and you could use the soil elsewhere.

    I buy my bulbs from Peter Nyssen and you can pre-order from about July, for September delivery. Snowdrops and aconites are best bought 'in the green' though,  as Garden Noob says. They naturalise well and so do Crocus thomasinnianus and wood anemones, but the grass needs to be cut to show off the flowers and then left for them to set seed.

  • Thank you Buttercupdays, very informative fortunately our land is former pastureland, we hope to post some pictures once our meadow becomes established

    Thank you again for your advice  

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 58,471

    Pastureland may well have been treated with quite a bit of nitrogen over the years ... this means that the grass will outgrow any native flowers and herbs ... It would be a good idea to grow lots of yellow rattle in your meadow to weaken the grass and allow the flowers to grow.

    https://wildseed.co.uk/page/using-yellow-rattle-to-increase-species-diversity 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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