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Wild Flower Meadows - Success and failures.

skankinpickleskankinpickle Posts: 119
edited April 2023 in Wildlife gardening
Hi. Can people post their success and failures of trying (and even succeeding) to make wild flower meadows in their gardens (including photos if possible).

This will be my 2nd year of attempting this. First year was a complete failure. Last Autumn I did at least try and make a better attempt than previous - i.e. - I raked off the scraggly long grass and put new top soil down and sowed a few packets of yellow rattlesnake in with the wildflower mixes (in the hope it would strangle the wild grass and give the wild flowers a better chance - as is supposed to be the case).

Although it is too early to see if my attempt is going to be successful or not. The signs look a bit ropey as unfortunately my bumping up of the soil coincided with the "sycamore frenzy" and there are hundreds of sycamore seedlings in my wild flower meadow area. So I presume these have easily outcompeted a lot of the wild flower seeds (that I did read are notoriously difficult to germinate anyway).

The good news (I hope) is that at least there does appear to be some "different" shoots growing in this area (ID thread coming soon, haha) so I am hoping they are of the desirable variety - when I was out in the garden sycamore weeding I did notice a small foxglove starting to bud.
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  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy Posts: 6,731
    I believe the reccomended way is to establish the yellow Rattle  for a year or so first,  then try sowing your wild flowers. They need poor soil so adding rich topsoil is not a good idea either. Two alternatives are to go for plug plants (expensive) or sow a mixture like pixie mix which are not really wild flowers but good border selfseeders. These are stronger, compete with grass better,  and germinate easily. 
    I  confess this is a 2nd hand info from my own research   not successfully done it myself. 
    AB Still learning

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,570
    I have grown wildflowers by sowing in plug trays and then transplanting where I want them.  If I broadcast seed, the slugs and snails or birds have them. Most wildflowers do not grow well if they have to compete with grass.
  • Slow-wormSlow-worm Posts: 1,576
    I've never had anything come from seed scattering, so this year I've got some in trays. I'm going to scrape a piece of grass out the front lawn and plant them in there soon, and hope the slugs don't eat them! 
  • Slow-worm said:
    I've never had anything come from seed scattering, so this year I've got some in trays. I'm going to scrape a piece of grass out the front lawn and plant them in there soon, and hope the slugs don't eat them! 
    I think you need a hungry Slow-worm in your garden to eat the slugs.  :D
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,498
    Tried three times with yellow rattle and failed to germinate every time.

    Had good results with annuals  in the first year and moderate success with perennials but nothing to boast about. 
    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,648
    @skankinpickle we have tried over many years to get yellow rattle to germinate. We have followed all the info but no success. However this year we have some great red campions in full flower (from a wild flower seeding some years ago). We will continue to try with seeds and hopefully see some more results.
  • skankinpickleskankinpickle Posts: 119
    edited April 2023
    Redwing said:
    Tried three times with yellow rattle and failed to germinate every time.

    Had good results with annuals  in the first year and moderate success with perennials but nothing to boast about. 
    Seems like plug plants are the way to go. 

    I do wonder how they get away with selling these wildflower seed packs as the success rate appears to be very low.

    I have a feeling the things growing in the wild section here are the usual weeds - one of the things looks like it could be the infamous willowherb.
  • cornellycornelly Posts: 970
    A few years ago we stopped mowing the top half of our long garden to allow wild flowers to grow, we have primroses, blue bells, blue anemones, garlic, fritilleries, white and purple red, daises, orchids, the primroses have spread around the garden, we don't mow until seed has set late July, blue bells are popping up everywhere as well.
  • Failed repeatedly here. I'm currently in the process of trying to germinate 60 in plug trays with the hope of planting them out in 4 weeks
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