Last week we sowed wildflowers round the base of our new orchard. This is a great way of helping to attract pollinators, a vital part of the edible garden. Wildflower meadows are low maintenance too, reducing the need for weeding or mowing an area.
Establishing a wildflower meadow
Wildflower meadows can be sown in spring or autumn. In summer there is a risk of the soil drying out – although not this year!
- Clear the ground of existing vegetation
- Level the ground
- Sow the seed
- Wildflower seed mixtures usually need to be sown at a very low rate 3-5g per m2
- The best way of achieving an even spread is to divide the area up and weigh the right amount of seed for each section. The picture shows of a group of volunteers from the Rock Trust doing just this
- Mix the seed well as they will be all different sizes and just like muesli the small bits sink to the bottom
- After the seed is sown lightly rake over the site
- When the meadow starts to grow and has reach about 30 cm in height cut it to 10 cm, this helps to prevent weeds and allows space for the wildflowers
- Once established most wildflower meadows will then only need cutting once a year in autumn