Quick Start Wildflower Guide
You’ve got your wildflower seeds and you’re ready to go. The process of turning that handful of seeds into a beautiful wildflower garden can be so rewarding, though it also comes with it’s challenges. We at Sweet Yards want to help you succeed by providing any and all support you need along the way. Explore our growing guides and feel free to contact us with any questions.
Although they might not look like it, all of those dry, wrinkled, and dusty seeds are actually alive. Every seed contains a small living plant embryo, undergoing respiration and absorbing moisture from the air, just waiting for somebody to create the right conditions and ignite the spark of life to transform them into bursts of colorful blooms. And that’s where you come in!
Choosing the Site
Matching your wildflower seeds to a specific location is an important first step in growing a beautiful wildflower garden. All of our wildflower mixes contain a large variety of wildflower species to ensure success.
- First make sure the soil drains well. Locations where water stays puddled after a storm don’t have enough drainage for wildflowers and will result poor growth.
- Observe the site throughout the day to see how much direct and indirect sunlight it receives. Our partial shade mix requires only 4 hours of sunlight a day, while most of our other mixes require 6 hours a day but perform even better with more sunlight.
- Envision your full grown wildflowers and how tall they will be. Some of our mixes contain wildflowers than can grow to nearly four feet tall, while others stay below two feet. Will your full grown wildflower garden block out sunlight into vegetable garden, or will it be too short to see from your kitchen window?
Preparing the Site
Wildflower seeds are just that – flowers from the wild! They have adapted to be tough enough to grow in various different soils and conditions. Though, a little care and preparation of your soil at this point will go a long way in creating a healthy and beautiful wildflower garden.
- Remove all plants, grasses and weeds. These are all competition for your young wildflower seedlings that can potentially outcompete them for water, sunlight and nutrition.
- Use a hard rake or garden how to loosen the top four to six inches of soil and break apart any soil clumps or clods. A light and fluffy textured soil will have the right amount air to allow for proper drainage and root respiration.
- Amend the soil with a weed free compost or fertilizer. Though wildflowers can do just fine without additional fertilizer, a small amount now can give them a little growth boost while their young. Be sure to use a balanced fertilizer, not one that is too high in nitrogen which can promote excessive vegetative growth and discourage blooming.
Sowing the Seeds
And now for the fun part! If you haven’t already, it’s time to open up that packet and take a look at those beautiful shades of brown that will soon transform into a lush greens and bursts of bright colors.
- Sow the right amount of seeds. Plant the seeds too densely and they will smother each other, plant them too sparsely and you’ll have a patchy wildflower garden mixed with weeds. A good seeding rate is about one ounce per 100 square feet. To ensure an even sowing mix the seeds with a light colored sand prior to spreading so you can easily see any bare patches of soil.
- Lightly rake the seeds into the soil. You want your seeds to be about ⅛ inch, no more than ¼ inch, below the soil.. Gently raking the seeds in ensures that none are planted too deeply. Seeds resting on the soil surface will have a better chance of germinating than those planted too deeply. Firmly compress the seeds into the soil with your hand or by walking on them to create good seed to soil contact.
- Irrigate your new garden patch so the soil is moist at least a few inches down. Maintain this moisture level for four to six weeks, or until your wildflower seedlings become established. The more mature they become the hardy they will be to changes in soil moisture.