Posted: 13 September 2023
How to sow wildflower seed in Autumn
We know this is a popular topic as we have received lots of questions here at the garden centre. Here are some of our top tips…
Autumn offers an ideal window for sowing wildflower seeds, presenting several advantages over sowing in Spring. The seasonal rainfall in the UK provides ample moisture for the seedbed and sowing seeds in early Autumn can lead to earlier Spring blossoms.
By choosing to sow your wildflower seeds in Autumn, you can anticipate a beautiful Spring garden.
If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry, we’re here with everything you need to know:
Site Selection for Autumn Wildflower Seed Sowing:
When selecting the area for sowing your wildflower seeds, keep in mind that all existing grass, weeds, or flora must be removed.
To get the best results and make sure your wildflowers thrive, pick a spot with clean, nutrient-light soil. If your space is small, simply clear out any grass and weeds by hand. Let the area sit for a few weeks and keep an eye out for any new weeds popping up.
For a medium-sized area, consider hiring equipment like a turf cutter or rotovator to efficiently remove existing grass and weeds. Again let the area sit for several weeks and remove any new weed growth.
Once you’ve picked and prepared your sowing site, it’s time to choose your wildflower mix. Options include mixes containing grass and those without. Including grass in your mix helps suppress weeds and creates a year-round wildlife habitat when wildflowers are not in bloom.
For medium to large areas, you could try a mix containing grass. For borders or beds where you seek uninterrupted colour, consider a 100% wildflowers mix like a Vintage Blue Wildlife Seed Shaker.
If you have a medium to large area with normal soil and good sunlight, consider a mix that is good for Bees & Pollinators by Seedball.
However, if you have clay or sandy soils or a heavily shaded area, explore the Shade Mix from Seedball.
As mentioned earlier, if you plan to transform a large field into a meadow gradually, introducing Yellow Rattle is advisable. Yellow Rattle, also known as the “meadow maker,” gets loads of love for its magical knack of gently taming those grasses in your meadow, making way for the wildflowers to bloom! You can find lots more information about this online, or pop in and chat with one of our team.
Step-by-Step Sowing in Autumn:
To achieve the best results when sowing wildflower seeds in Autumn, follow these steps:
a. Remove all existing grass, plants, or flora from the chosen area.
b. Further reduce soil fertility by removing the top 5-10cm of soil.
c. Allow the area to sit for several weeks, remove any weed growth during this time.
d. Refrain from adding topsoil, compost, or fertilisers; wildflowers thrive in low-nutrient conditions.
e. After you’ve allowed the area to sit, remove stones and debris and rake the area to create a fine, level seedbed.
f. Scatter the seeds at a rate of 5g per m2.
g. Rake the seeds into the soil.
h. Water the freshly sown wildflower seeds thoroughly.
i. In case of drought conditions, maintain moisture for the first 6 weeks after sowing.
j. Keep the area free of leaves during germination.
k. Once the wildflower seeds start to grow, relax and await your wildflower Spring blooms.
Autumn Wildflower Products from Smith’s Garden Centre.
We’ve just had a new delivery of Seedball products : HeroLawn, Wildflower tubes & Wildflower Grab Bags are all great options.If you give it a try please make sure you send us your photos on social media. We’d love to see your wildflower displays.