The allure of wildflowers is that they should grow well in your area and contain a mixture of different types of flowers to ensure maximum beauty. They also should be relatively easy to maintain once established. The following tips can help you avoid some of the challenges that planting a new garden can face.
Tip #1: Start with a weed-free area
Weeds can quickly overtake a wildflower garden, especially in the first year when a dense planting isn't yet established. Unfortunately, weed killers aren't the answer because they will often kill the wildflowers as well. To avoid this issue, begin preparing the wildflower bed in midsummer. Remove as many weeds and their roots by hand as you can. Then, wet the soil lightly and cover it with clear plastic. After a few weeks, the remaining weed seeds will sprout and then cook underneath the greenhouse effect of the plastic, which will kill them so you don't have many weeds to worry about later.
Tip #2: Add some bulbs to the garden
Spring bulbs are a good option for a wildflower garden because they send up leaves several weeks before the earliest of spring wildflowers begins to bloom, and they then finish flowering just as the early wildflowers are beginning. This gives the garden foliage cover, which helps prevent new weeds from invading the bed, along with early season color. Plant bulbs before sowing wildflower seed mixes so you don't disturb the seed. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and spring crocus are all good bulb options.
Tip #3: Pick the right seed mix
Make sure the wildflower seed mix you choose is for your area. Most seed providers offer multiple mixtures for different growing zones and climates. Once you find one that contains plants that will grow in your climate, check the flower varieties in the mixture with your local invasive plant council or county extension office to make sure that none of the wildflowers in the mixture are harmful to grow in your local ecosystem. There is sure to be at least one seed mix that is a perfect fit for your garden.
Tip #4: Mix in some native meadow grasses
Meadow grasses that are native to your area will add more color and depth to the garden. The best grass options are those that grow native to your area. They will tend to be green in spring and early summer, fading to a lovely golden hue in midsummer and then providing attractive seed heads in late summer and fall – all a suitable backdrop to the blooming wildflowers. Most true wild meadows contain a good sum of grasses, so simply mix your wildflower seed with about half as much native grass seed before sowing it.
For more information, contact a seed supplier.