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  The Low Down on Wildflowers
  October 28th, 2005

Plant Your Wildflowers Today

It’s easy to grow wildflowers. Here’s how:

  • Choose a spot in full sun. Spade or rototill the ground deeply, adding organic soil amendment but no fertilizer. (If you plant wildflowers for three years in the same bed, sprinkle the ground with a light application of complete fertilizer before planting for the third time.)
  • Smooth and level the surface with the garden rake.
  • Decide on a watering system. A drip system usually works the best. If the area you’re planting is too wide for you to reach all parts of it from the edges, either make wandering paths through it or place stepping stones here and there between the drip tubes so you can walk on the bed without compacting the soil.
  • Sprinkle seeds of native wildflowers all over the bed. Sprinkle individual types in drifts, putting tall varieties at the back or in the middle and shorter varieties at the front or around the edges.
  • Rake the seed lightly into the soil.
  • Intersperse pea stakes throughout the bed.
  • Protect the seeds and sprouts from birds: stretch bird netting over the stakes. Fasten the edges down with rocks or wire staples. (After the plants are up 4 to 5 inches take off the netting but leave the pea stakes in place to support the plants through wind and rain.)
  • Sprinkle the bed with a watering pot twice a day until seeds germinate. Then start watering with a drip system or by soaking the bed when the rains are not adequate.
  • After the plants are up and growing, stand or lean on your paths or stepping stones to weed and thin them — if necessary. Bait for slugs, snails and cutworms.
  • Use canes pruned from climbing roses to protect the bed from being smashed by skunks or other animals in the spring.

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