Selecting and Preparing a Site for Wildflowers
The Importance of Evaluating Site Conditions and Preparing the Ground Properly
Creating a beautiful wildflower meadow or field of wildflowers requires a little more effort and planning than most people realize. Sowing wildflower seeds without care and planning usually produces unsatisfactory results. Here are some important factors to consider:
Does the site support plants now? If you have a site where nothing, including weeds, is growing, that site is unlikely to support wildflowers. Amendment of the soil or light fertilization may be needed.
Will there be adequate moisture during germination and establishment? Can you supply supplemental water, if necessary? Moisture is critical during the first 4-6 weeks of germination and seedling growth.
What weed seeds are likely to be present in the soil? Will weeds spread to your site from adjacent areas? Be prepared to implement weed control measures to help your wildflowers thrive.
Are the wildflowers you wish to plant suitable for the site conditions present? Soil type, amount of sunlight and amount of moisture are the most important factors to consider. Assessment of the site prior to purchasing seed will help you to choose suitable wildflowers and ensure your success.
Properly preparing a site for wildflower seeds is important for prompt germination of seed and healthy growth of seedlings. Best results will be obtained by planting on cleared ground. Mature plants that are already established on the site will compete with wildflower seedlings. Remove existing weeds and vegetation to avoid competition from other plants. This may be done by pulling, smothering, tilling under, spraying with a general herbicide, or by a combination of these methods, depending upon the size of the area, type and density of vegetation and other factors.