The Q&A Archives: Wildflower Meadow

Question: I want to plant a wildflower meadow over about an acre of land that is currently grass & weeds. I have read your FAQ's and learned a lot of information. How do I know how many seeds to buy? Also, I have read in some sources that the seeds need to be 50% grasses, although I just read in one of your FAQ's that the grasses are unnecessary. Can you elaborate on the grasses? Also, if I don't have time to get complicated, what is your suggestion for just using strictly seeds vs. transplanting seedlings or buying established plants?

Answer: Most often our mental visions of wildflower meadows are more perfect than the reality. Basically you are planting a one acre garden from seed. It's not going to be easy, nor quick. You may want to start with just a quarter acre each year, adding transplants as available. Grasses are an integral part of a prairie planting. It's your choice whether you want a prairie or a meadow. The prairie with grasses will look more natural it will be less obvious when weeds invade (and of course they will!)., but I think 50% is rather high. If you go with the prairie seeding, try only a third in grass. Either way, it will be several years before the plot begins to take hold and look really good! Be patient. As to how many seeds to plant, it depends on the mix that you choose. Guidelines should be given with different mixes for the proper amount to use. Good luck.

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