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Wildflower annuals...... What now?

LatimerLatimer Posts: 790
Hi all

So here is where my inexperience in the garden starts to show!

I'm not really sure what to do about this bed now. The wildflowers have grown and been amazing for the last month or so and are still looking pretty good, with poppies still opening up most mornings. However you can also see that the ones that, I assume, flowered first are now starting to look a bit grubby. Should I start removing them? I'm just a bit worried about leaving big gaps if I start pulling stuff out. What do I do?


  • It may look untidy, but I would leave the plants to go to seed. When fully ripe the seeds will fall to the ground (some may be taken by goldfinches and other birds) and hopefully you will have another lovely display next year. 
    Pull the plants up later in the year or leave over winter and enjoy seeing cobwebs, covered in frost or dew, strung between the stems .
    A gardener's work is never at an end  - (John Evelyn 1620-1706)
  • peteSpeteS Posts: 884
    @London_to_Latimer...I intend to do a planting scheme exactly like that and on a similar scale, so your post couldn't be more timely. Could I ask, was it one of the annual wildflower mixes you used from one of the well known seed suppliers or seeds from one of the specialists. Also could I ask when did you sow the seeds, because I've read recently the poppy seeds need to go through a spell of chilling if they are to germinate, an Autumn sowing.
  • Yorkshire rose is spot on. Dead head for as long as you can be bothered, then let them go to seed and pull out the carcasses (!) in the winter. Then a  mulch over the top (not too deep) and sow a fresh mix in spring as you can't guarantee how much self seed plants you'll get - treat them as a bonus.

    Your other option is to pull everything out and sow a new mix in autumn, which will flower earlier next year.

    I find you need a fairly significant wild flower area for it to self seed densely enough to look good without help, but my conditions may be different to yours!
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,941
    I leave mine and pull them all out in very late winter/early spring right as the weeds in other parts of the yard are germinating.  I then mix a few seed packets with some compost and sprinkle it across the top in a very thin layer.  Some seeds germinate from last years batch and some new from this year, as I usually sow different mixes or what I have to hand.  I feel leaving the dead bits to early spring both protects the soil and gives shelter to wild things.  
    Utah, USA.
  • LatimerLatimer Posts: 790
    edited August 2020
    Thanks @yorkshirerose @strelitzia32 and @Blue Onion!

    @strelitzia32 um, deadhead? Oops, never even bothered lol!! 

    @peteS it was a packet I picked up when I went to the Eden Project last year, a bog standard wildflower mix. I mixed it in with some sharp sand and sprinkled it. That was this year, around April/May time I think. I kept it watered at the start through the hot spring and then once the rains came I haven't watered it at all.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    It is looking great.
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