Forum home The potting shed

Wild flower meadow

Meadow may be over stating it as the area in question is about 10 metres by 10 metres.  I've been toying with a number of ideas of what to do with the area which up to now has been a veg garden.  For various reasons it won't be used for that purpose in future.
Most of the area will get sun for the majority of the day but about 1/3rd will get little sun during the winter months.  Is that likely to cause problems for wild flowers?  Also, given the speed at which some weeds grow, I'm concerned that they will smother all other growth.  How have others dealt with that problem?

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 21,628
    If it's been used as a veggie plot till now I'd have thought it far too rich and fertile for an annual wildflower meadow which needs poor soil.

    I should think you'll be invaded by nettle and dock and the like rather than the ones you're after.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 4,378
    Obelixx said:
    If it's been used as a veggie plot till now I'd have thought it far too rich and fertile for an annual wildflower meadow which needs poor soil.

    I should think you'll be invaded by nettle and dock and the like rather than the ones you're after.
    It's an area of garden which historically had been the vegetable area.  It hasn't had any compost or other enrichment for many years apart from some Growmore in the area where runner beans have been grown this year.
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 2,451
    We did a garden visit earlier this year. They did a hardy annual flower mix (direct sown) it was not wild flower but they said it attracted just as much insect life. The area was in side the walled garden which had been used for veg for years, they said wild flower would not work exactly as @Obelixx says.
    AB Still learning

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 21,628
    That sounds like the way to proceed @Allotment Boy, assuming the aim is to attract and support pollinators and other critters.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 4,378
    Obelixx said:
    That sounds like the way to proceed @Allotment Boy, assuming the aim is to attract and support pollinators and other critters.
    Part that and part to cut down on the work required to maintain the area.  Due to arthritis in one hip and both knees I simply can't handle a veg plot.  I'm looking at ways to change the use and have also considered heavy duty weed suppressant sheet and either slate chippings or gravel.  I'd prefer something prettier but the low maintenance aspect is high on the list of priorities.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 21,628
    Then find a good annual or perennial mix that will look after itself and do well with decent soil.   Wildflowers definitely need really poor soil or they will be out-competed by stronger plants.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 2,451
    KT53 said:
    Part that and part to cut down on the work required to maintain the area.  Due to arthritis in one hip and both knees I simply can't handle a veg plot.  I'm looking at ways to change the use and have also considered heavy duty weed suppressant sheet and either slate chippings or gravel.  I'd prefer something prettier but the low maintenance aspect is high on the list of priorities.
    The visit was to Helmingham Hall in Suffolk & that was exactly the reason they gave, they said the estate did not need all the veg the full walled garden could produce and they did not have a big enough staff to do the work now. They have cut down on annual bedding for the same reasons. I checked and they used a blend called Pixie mix, the ground was clean & weed free at the start though.
    AB Still learning

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 4,378
    Thanks Allotment Boy, I'll look into that more.  My intention would be to rotovate the entire area, level and firm before seeding.  At least then I stand a fighting chance against the more vigorous weeds.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 21,628
    Chiltern seeds do mixes.  I've just bought one called Cornfield which is annual flowers but it is to grow in a very impoverished area that turns brown at the slightest hint of drought and is now full of wildflowers since we finally had some rain.

    I expect they'll do a mix for more fertile soils or a perennial meadow mix.  Or you could mix your own.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
Sign In or Register to comment.