Sowing Wildflower Seeds

March 2, 2019

Spring is just around the corner and soon wildflowers will be popping up all over. It’s also a great time for sowing wildflower seeds, ready to be planted in late spring. In the past we’ve sown seeds directly into the soil, protected them from the birds with netting, but found that the seeds get dominated by grass which hinders their growth.

This year we have sown directly into trays to create plugs so that once they germinate and establish, they can be planted into the meadow. Ideally the best time to sow is during March and April, but given we want to bring these on a little before planting, we have potted them already. Now it’s a waiting game… We’ll let you know how our little experiment goes in the coming months.

Where we got our seeds

We were lucky to be given our seeds by The British Beekeeping Association in association with Burts Bees. The pack contains a mix of native and pollinator-friendly flowers that will hopefully bring a buzz to our garden.

Why wildflowers are great for your garden

Not only are they beautiful, wildflowers are an important nectar source for many creatures as they provide an attractive landscape as well as habitat for birds and insects, including bees and butterflies.

They also provide lots of other things that insects need such as food in the form of leaves, shelter and places to breed. In return, insects pollinate the wildflowers, enabling them to develop seeds and spread to grow in other places.

Wildflowers can also be really helpful to keep soil healthy. When wildflowers become established and spread their roots, they stabilise the surrounding soil. This means that when there is a lot of rainfall, or irrigation in fields used to grow crops, soil particles and nutrients stored in the ground stick around and the soil stays healthy. This is especially important on hillsides, where sloping ground is easily washed away if there aren’t root systems to hold the soil in place.

Without plants like wildflowers that stabilise the soil, nutrients can get washed away into nearby water systems. This causes a problem called ‘eutrophication’, where algae spread and can make the water toxic to marine animals.

So how can I help UK native wildflowers?

First of all, help spread the word about why they’re important! Share this page with your family, friends and followers.

You could try growing wildflower seeds this spring and create your own urban wildflower patch. Some pollinators can’t travel too far to find food so it’s really important that there are food sources and refuges dotted around for them to visit. This is especially important in urban areas where the environment is often grey, with few sources of pollen and nectar. It really is a case of every little helps!

Happy Gardening!

Nat x

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