growing wildflowers from seed

Hello, I'm new to this site.

I have lawn that I want to keep but would like to have a wildflower section at the end of it to separate the lawn from the patio.

I have been considering whether to buy some wildflower turf or sow the seeds.

I do like the look of the picture sent in by dippy dazza of the colourful display. I don't want them too tall as they might obscure the view of the little pond I have ( from the kitchen wildow)

Would I get flowers this year if I sow the seeds - If I sow the seeds will they come up each year or will I have to keep sowing them?

It will be a fairly small patch approx 3msq.

How will I need to prepare the ground before sowing?

 

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  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,053

    For flowers this year I would suggest a packet of mixed annuals, one of the mixes for bees and butterflies or a cornfield mix. Sow direct into soil. Sowing into grass is not very successful and those annuals don't grow in grass naturally

  • It would be far cheaper sowing seeds. You might even be able to get a packet sufficient for 3 sq m from a regional natural heritage organisation. Otherwise a local agricultural seed merchant eg Cotswold seeds will be able to supply a suitable mix for your regional climate and soil. They should flower this year. Many of them do better in poor soil, so don't overcultivate. 

  • Thank you for your advice.

    I do like the image posted on another thread by Dippy Dazza:

    image

    With these flowers, cornflowers etc - would the preparation be the same as for wildflowers - such as poor soil?

    Am I right in assuming that I would need to lift the turf, rake off the top soil, then sow the seeds straight on to what's left?

    Is there anything else I would need to do to ensure success?

    Anf finally would they flower this year?

    Many thanks!!!

     

     

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,053

    Take the grass off, loosen the surface and sow them in what soil you have. They'll do perfectly well. I should think they'll flower, maybe a little later than you hoped. If you look in the seed racks at the GC you'll probably find a mix that looks like that.

  • I think this is much more difficult than it looks. You could get loads of weeds, which will out compete your young seedlings. Are you going to let them grow and then kill them off with weedkiller, before you spread your seed?

    I have gradually developed a wildflower plot with small plants such as primroses and cowslips... bulbs such as fritillaries (pre grown in pots as well) small narcissi, orchids, anenomes, daisies ( which do seed around very easily. All of this into an established lawn, which grows poorly and is only mown at the end of the summer. First up are snowdrops, planted in the green. I intend to add camasseias next.

    Don't expect overnight success. I have taken 10 years plus so far.

    Good luck either way.image

  • Is it going into lawn or on a bit of ground between? If it's lawn that's a different matter as WW posted, C3 grasses are successful, in part, because they are competitive. In lawn density grasses, well you can imagine how difficult it is for plants that aren't thugs like dandelions to establish roots.

    If it's a border or a bit of bare soil, as I seem to have misread from your question that'll establish easily.

    I just bunged the contents of the packet of seeds I got free from Scottish Natural Heritage on an unprepared bit of ground, ruffled them in and let nature take its course. It was labelled "biodiversity in a bag"

    There's wildflowers and wildflowers, I thought you meant wildflowers. The mix I put in for invertebrates might be considered a little "weedy" for some interpretations of wildflower.

     

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,053

    Looking at packets of wildflowers in GCs it's not surprising there's confusion. They'll all be wild somewhere in the world but not hereimage For most people that doesn't matter but it makes it hard to know what we're talking about sometimes

  • Thank you everyone for your replies. I'll take off top turf and rake. Then sow the seeds. I'll look in GC for relevant flowers. It is confusing. This may not be the last you hear from me asking for help ! image
  • Chris MasonChris Mason Posts: 159

    Corn flower anuals only grow in disturbed ground, so you'd have to do that every year, + they like infertile ground so don't worry about planting on the sub-soil (I'm doing the same but I'm using a tussock mix)

  • Chris MasonChris Mason Posts: 159

    This website helped me a lot, http://wildseed.co.uk/mixtures

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