HOW TO SOW ERVA WILDFLOWER SEEDS
Irish Native Annual Mix
Planting wildflowers can be as simple or as involved as you want it to be. There are exceptions, but generally you get back what you put into it. Contrary to what some seed mixes will advise, just firing a bunch of seeds into your grassy lawn sadly won’t be very effective. If the grass is already established, it won’t allow any space for the wildflower seeds to germinate. You want to give the wildflower seeds a fighting chance and there are many things we can do to prepare an optimal seedbed for native Irish wildflowers. The annual mix is designed to produce a bounty of colour, the plants live for one growing season and then die off. The benefit of an annual mix is that you get much quicker results than a perennial mix. Perennials take longer to establish and you won’t see beautiful colour potentially for a couple of years after sowing. If you are looking to create a more permanent meadow we suggest a Perennial mix.
Below is an outline of an effective method of preparing a seedbed for your annual wildflowers. Once they are planted read our “How To” on aftercare of the wildflower plants.
Remember also that wildflowers can be planted in window boxes, hanging baskets and pots. Read more about our tips on sowing in containers here.
When Should I Sow Wildflower Seeds?
You can sow in the Spring or surprisingly in the Autumn too! From March to May or from August to October. When deciding the time of year to sow the wildflower seeds you may want to consider what type of soil you have. Do you have sandy or often described as light soil? This type of soil doesn’t have a lot of clay, it’s easy to dig and rake through, it drains quickly after rain and it heats up quicker than a heavy soil in the Spring months. The wildflower seeds are very happy to be sown in the Autumn in this kind of soil. Sowing in the Autumn is favoured as it will produce the earliest bounty of wildflowers. What is strongly advised is to not sow if it is frosty or if we are in drought.
Or, do you have a heavy soil that is dense with higher clay content? The heavy soil can often be more fertile, however it doesn’t drain as well as a lighter soil and so it is advised to wait until the Spring season to sow seeds in this type of soil. This will prevent the possibility of water-logging and the seedlings rotting during the Winter months.
Preparing the seedbed & sowing
- Define the perimeter of your wildflower seedbed.
- The first mission is to reduce the soils fertility. Remove all of the existing grass and weeds and with it, the top 5 to 10cm of soil.
- Break up the soil to a fine consistency and level it with a rake.
- If you have the time you should allow the soil to settle for 3-4 weeks. In that time some unwanted seeds may germinate and this gives you the opportunity to de-weed whatever pops up.
- When you are ready to scatter the seeds it is helpful to use a carrier. This carrier can be sand or earth. The carrier will allow a more even distribution of seeds. Mix the wildflower seeds with the carrier at an approximate ratio of 5 parts carrier to 1 part seed.
- Press down with your foot to create good seed-to-soil contact.
- A good idea is to then cover the area with netting to deter the birds from eating the tasty seeds.
- Ensure the seedbed is kept watered in dry conditions.