How to manage your wildflower meadow

How to manage your wildflower meadow
How to manage your wildflower meadow
Wildflowers – you sow them, you grow them, they bloom and… what next?

The overwhelming excitement of seeing your wildflower meadow seeds grow can quickly be followed with wondering what to do next, luckily, we’ve developed a wildflower management guide to help you with this.

Your wildflower management will depend on when you choose to sow your wildflower seeds. Typically, wildflower seeds need to undergo stratification to germinate, i.e. a ‘freeze’. We keep our wildflower seeds in cold warehouse conditions all year round so they are ready to be sown at any time – but, to achieve optimum results, there are two times in a year where you should ideally sow wildflower seed. April / May, or September / October.

I’ve sown my wildflower seed in April / May (spring)

In August / September of the first year you have sown your wildflower seed, cut your wildflower sward to 7cm after flowering – you can do this by putting your mower on a high setting. In most cases remove clippings* (Note: a late spring sowing will result in late flowering). Do not be tempted fertilise or add top soil to this area – wildflowers prefer poor soil conditions, and this is how they should stay. Continue this same process, year after year.

*If you have annual wildflowers in your mix and you do not wish them to return the following year, remove the clippings. If you want your wildflowers to return the following year - let them go to seed head, and manually assist their self-seeding by firming the seed heads into the soil. By doing this, your annuals will return the following year.

I’ve sown my wildflower seed in September / October (autumn)

In March / April of the first year of sowing your wildflower seed, make sure there is sufficient material to mow – your wildflowers / grasses should be at a height of 10cm. If your wildflowers are at this height, mow to 7cm no later than mid-April, as this will delay their blooming process. In August / September, after they have bloomed, cut your wildflower meadow again to 7cm, remove all clippings unless you want your annuals to return.

If you wish for your annual wildflowers to make a reappearance the following spring, follow the process above by letting the seed heads drop into the soil, and give them a helping hand by firming them into the soil.

Wildflowers are pretty wonderful and really are low maintenance compared to most flowers you’ll find  – but every now and again they need a little help to look their best. Don’t we all!

Follow our guide to creating your own wildflower garden here!

Check out Jamie's fabulous meadow he sowed in May!

How to create a wildflower garden  

5 Benefits of sowing wildflowers in autumn

Wildflower 101: Annuals vs. Perennials