How do I create a wildflower meadow?
Old meadows provide a home for many colourful flowers but over recent years 97% of wild flower meadows have disappeared. If you are wishing to convert a grassy area to a wild flower meadow it is advisable to let it grow over the summer and see what flowers appear.
Over-seeding does not work, so if you want to introduce some different varieties of wild flowers you will need to remove sections of the grass and top soil and seed with the wild flowers or, for small areas (e.g. garden lawns) you can plant in 'plugs' of wildflower species.
To create a new meadow, good ground preparation and low soil fertility are the secrets. Remove 5-10cm of the topsoil, then rake and roll the soil to provide the seed bed. The best time to sow the wild flower seed is early autumn, as many of the seed require the cold months to break dormancy but it is also possible to sow some seeds in the spring.
You can create a spring or summer meadow, the difference being the wild flowers planted and when the meadow is mown. Spring meadow flowers reach their height during June and hence mowing should take place in approximately July. Summer meadows are mown during the autumn as the wild flowers reach their peak in August.