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How to grow wildflowers in a lawn
Growing Wildflowers in your lawn will encourage Wildlife of all kinds to visit your garden.
Human visitors to your garden especially older folk who can still remember wildflower meadows, poppy fields, cornflowers, and chewing on a stem of wild grass, will reminisce about those days.
Young kids who have never rolled around in wild grass will simply love it.
A wildflower lawn is low maintenance requiring cutting only about twice a year, more about that later and is also very beautiful when in full flower.
Where have all the butterflies gone
Where have all the butterflies gone Mum? They have gone hunting for food and homes son.
Why is it Brexit? No worse than that. The wildflower meadows that were their homes, and the wildflower nectar that was their food have all gone.
What can Theresa May do? Nothing she has got her hands full with brexit.
What can we do mum? Nothing son.
Could we grow a meadow in our lawn please mum, flowerpotman says it is easy to grow wildflowers.
Like most flowers and grasses your meadow will grow best in an open non shaded position in your garden, however seeds that tolerate shady areas, these are mostly hedgerow and woodland plants, can be sown and will thrive.
Unless the soil has been saturated with nutrients or contains Rye grass you won't need to remove the existing turf, most domestic lawn grasses are not that vigorous, but it is helpful to reduce competition by the grass by sowing Yellow Rattle seed into the lawn. Its parasitic on the roots of grasses, and once established will reduce the growth of the grass by about 50%.
Yellow Rattle grows naturally in all established wildflower meadows and is sown between August and December as it needs a period of cold to germinate.
How to remove Rye grass from a
When converting an existing lawn you will need to remove all trace of rye grass as it will compete vigorously with your wild flowers. Weed killers wont work with out killing of the other grasses.
The only option is to meticulously dig the rye grass out, making sure none is left to spread its way back into your wildflower lawn. Or remove the complete lawn and resow with a hay meadow mix of seeds.
Completely remove the old lawn digging out and removing all existing plants and weeds, including the roots, especially deep rooting weed like dandelions. Dig or rotovate the soil to a depth of at least 15cm and then follow the instructions on my lawn turfing page
Very fertile soil
Planting or sowing wildflowers into an existing lawn.
There are several ways to introduce wild meadow flowers in to your lawn, transplanting wildflowers , sowing seeds directly into your lawn and the easiest way laying a wildflower seed mat.
Transplanting wildflowers into a lawn.
Time consuming and expensive but will speed up the appearance of wildflowers growing in your lawn.
Transplanting meadow wildflowers from pots or plugs directly into your wild lawn is the quickest way to establish wildflowers in your wild lawn and can be bought online as pot plants or as plugs, and planted direct into the wild lawn.
Container-grown wild flowers can be planted out in autumn to establish over winter or planted in early spring before the grass has grown to tall.
The wild lawn/wild flower meadow area needs to be cut short before planting, making sure to remove the cut grass to your compost heap. Try to mix the species and plant the wildflower plants informally, as if seed had blown in on the breeze. Depending on your budget, plant as many as you can for a quick effect, but remember they will reseed in the Autumn after flowering, eventually covering the whole wild flower lawn.
You will need to choose plants that will grow in the type of soil in your garden.
Sowing wildflower seeds into an existing lawn.
This way is a bit slower than transplanting ready-grown plants, but achieves the best results in the long run and is relatively cheap.
Grass preparation is fairly easy. You will need to cut the grass very short and remove the clippings from the lawn. Then firmly rake the
area removing as much of the thatch as possible to create open areas where seeds can get to the soil and germinate.
Sow in autumn using a wild flower mix that suits your type of soil, at 1.5g per square metre. Then rake the area over after sowing to help the seed into the soil.
As the seedlings start to show in the late autumn or spring, you will need to give your new wild flower lawn a mow, setting the blade fairly high to about 3in, this allows light to reach the emerging seedlings.
In the following seasons your wild flower lawn should be left to grow to its natural height, to allow the flowers to naturally spread there seeds. More about this later.
Choose a seed mix without grass seed from the seed shop
There is a third way letting wildflowers seed naturally.
It will take a long time especially in a lawn that is isolated from a wild meadow. If you are lucky enough to have a wild meadow fairly near to you, wind and birds will speed this up.
If you choose this method, leaving it to nature to seed your wild flower lawn allowing your lawn to turn into a wild lawn naturally, the first wildflowers to appear will be the low rosette type lawn weeds, including daisies, plantains and cat's ear and the creeping plants such as selfheal and speedwells.
As your wild lawn or meadow establishes, the height of the grass will increase and the taller plants and wild meadow flowers will appear and the daisies and other low growing wild flowers will gradually disappear in some areas of the wild lawn.
Airborne seeds and seeds delivered by birds will slowly begin to build up turning your lawn into a beautiful wildflower meadow. With this method you won't need to be concerned with the type of soil you have. Natural selection will be at work in your lawn.
This is the really easy way to grow wildflowers in a lawn, simply insert a Wildflower seed mat into the existing grass