Property owners have been planting wildflower meadows for years, but did you know these wildflower seed facts?
Wildflowers make great borders
Sure you can plant a big meadow of wildflowers, and many gardeners do. But recent refinements in seed mixtures and improved planting methods make it easy to use wildflower seeds for color wherever you want it. Keep reading for more new ways to use wildflowers seeds.
Landscapes with Wildflowers
Invest in your landscape and the environment
The EPA estimates that 5 percent of our nation's air pollution is caused by lawn mowers. As always, the cost of landscaping with wildflower seeds is a gardener's dream. Your grandest plans are possible when you utilize the "wildflower seed advantage". What advantage? You can cover a large area for a modest investment and save money, work and emissions. Think about it. The average perennial plant costs about four to six dollars and maintaining lawns requires constant cost and effort. With seeds, you can have thousands of perennials for just pennies each and you can greatly reduce the time it takes to maintain your lawn.
Pick your favorites and cut costs
Say you want to edge a walk with flowers. Forget the expensive six-packs of plants at the garden center; all you need is a pound of your favorite annual wildflowers. Wildflowers like California poppies, multicolored cornflowers and others stay short and bloom for months. You can even make up your own mix. A favorite is annual baby's breath with lush red poppies-they're easy and super-quick to bloom. Best of all, your flowers won't look the same as all the others on the block.
Plant when you please - Spring or Fall
There are advantages for both times - the fall ensures early blooms and is often a less-hectic time, while spring planting allows for more predictable weather patterns. If you plant in fall and live in a cold region, wait until frost, and then sow your seeds. In regions without frost, fall planting ensures that you get great early blooms before the heat of summer. Fall planted seeds will bloom about two weeks earlier than spring plantings.
Wildflowers can be grown in containers, too
Wildflowers in containers?
This is another area creative gardeners have found to maximize bloom from wildflower seeds. For example, we know a lady who buys her seeds carefully by color and height, and sows them in planter boxes by her front door. She has spectacular bloom all season long, and all her friends are amazed! It's the same for window-boxes, patio pots-wherever you want quick- bloom color. Container gardening is a growing trend today, and wildflower seeds, with their low cost and wide choice of colors fit the bill perfectly. You can even start your containers inside under grow lights when you start your vegetables.
Fill in garden spaces with quick, easy color
Many of our friends use wildflower seeds as a finishing touch in their gardens, borders-almost anywhere they need space filled with color. An expert perennial gardener we know always has a sack of annual seeds to scatter each spring between established perennials and shrubs. A few weeks after this simple sowing, he has billows of budding red poppies, cornflowers, cosmos and more. As they sprout and bud, he transplants them wherever he wants them to bloom and they bloom for months. It's really easy.
Top your fall bulbs for bloom all next summer
Tired of cleaning up daffodil debris after spring bloom? Simply scatter wildflower seeds over your bulbs this fall, and when the bulbs begin to die down, your wildflowers will be green and growing to cover it all. Then the flowers will bloom for you all summer and fall, right up until frost.
The environmentally-smart mixtures
Today's wildflower seed blends are greatly improved. In addition to the favorite regional mixes, annuals, perennials and blends for partial shade, you'll find mixes for All-Native plantings, Habitat Gardening, Deer Resistance-even a new mix that helps support the declining bee population in the US. You can even create a mix only with flowers that are specifically native to your area.
If you want your garden to dazzle your neighbors and be unique, try wildflowers. They are easy to plant, fast to bloom and cost effective. Two of the true joys of gardening are the process and the result. Planting wildflowers provides you with the pleasure of planting and nurturing from seed, as well as the pride of an amazing result. Whether you're new to wildflowers or looking to try something different, we hope these ideas will spark new ways to look at wildflower gardening.
Article and photos provided by American Meadows.
Article published on October 28, 2009.