How Do You Plant Wildflower Seeds?

How Do You Plant Wildflower Seeds?

“What is the best way to plant wildflower seeds. I am preparing a spot on a sunny hill, taking the grass and roots out down to the dirt. I know I have to mix the seeds with sand. Are there any other tips on making them thrive? I appreciate the advice.  Thank you.” Question from Lexy of Weare, New Hampshire

Answer: There are some tricks to getting wildflower seed to become established when sown outdoors. For success, please follow these wildflower sowing tips from the western horticulturist, Maureen Gilmer.

  1. Use new seed from local sources. Wildflower seed can lose its viability quickly, so use seed packed for the current year.
  2. Apply the right amount of seed. Each seed mix will have its own designated application rate. A general rule of thumb is ¼ pound of wildflower seed will cover 500 to 1000 square feet. Make sure you get enough seed to produce the density of color you want.
  3. Scar the soil. Annual wildflowers love the disturbed ground, so make sure yours is freshly tilled or hand-worked with an iron rake prior to sowing. Seed gathers in these furrows. (The first spring after World War I ended, the battlefields of France bloomed solid red with corn poppies that thrived in soils churned up by trench warfare.)
  4. Cover seeds very lightly. Some wildflowers need light to germinate and remain dormant without it. Providing too much cover can spoil your efforts. Instead, sow the seed, then scatter Black Gold Garden Compost Blend in a thin layer over the top. It too will migrate into the furrows to keep seed lightly moist.
  5. Weed to prevent competition. Spring weeds can devastate your wildflowers. As they begin to develop, pick out the grasses so they don’t compete for the same soil moisture as the wildflower seedlings.

Provide water during dry periods. If rains are poor, use a sprinkler to create rain-like irrigation every couple of weeks during the winter and early spring.

Happy gardening!

Jessie Keith

Black Gold Horticulturist

Leave a Reply

Content Disclaimer:

This site may contain content (including images and articles) as well as advice, opinions and statements presented by third parties. Sun Gro does not review these materials for accuracy or reliability and does not endorse the advice, opinions, or statements that may be contained in them. Sun Gro also does not review the materials to determine if they infringe the copyright or other rights of others. These materials are available only for informational purposes and are presented “as is” without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including without limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. Reliance upon any such opinion, advice, statement or other information is at your own risk. In no event shall Sun Gro Horticulture Distribution, Inc. or any of its affiliates be liable to you for any inaccuracy, error, omission, fact, infringement and the like, resulting from your use of these materials, regardless of cause, or for any damages resulting there from.