Wildflower Seed Planting Tips

Where to Plant Your Wildflower Seeds

Select a site with good drainage and full sun, removing weeds and choking grasses.  Loosen the soil if hard-packed, but do not till more than 2-3″deep.  There are untold numbers of dormant weed seeds in the top layers of soil just waiting to germinate with a little exposure! 

Rake the soil smooth and avoid fertilizing as this only encourages weed growth and will produce extensive leafy growth at the expense of blooms.  After your wildflower seeds have germinated, it will be very hard to distinguish them from weeds, so take care of the weeds on and around your site before you plant.

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How much to plant?

A good rule of thumb is to plant 1 oz. of seed mix per 100-125 sq. feet (11.6 sq meters).  Our 4 oz. bag of seed will cover 375 sq. feet, and our 8 oz. bag will cover 750 sq. feet.  Our individual species bags have enough seed to cover an area of about 10 sq. feet.  In our experience we have found that you can still get a pretty good stand of wildflowers at the rate of 1 lb. per 2,000 sq. feet up to 20 lbs. per acre, if enough moisture is present.

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Sowing the Seeds

For small areas, broadcast the seed/sand mix by hand. 

With large areas, to evenly distribute a mix of variable seed sizes, combine clean, dry sand with the seed at a ratio of 4:1 (sand to seed). Use a mechanical spreader, and spread each 1/2 of the mix over the entire area.  This helps to avoid using up all the seeds before you reach the far end of your area. 

Cover the seed only to a depth of 1/8 inch by lightly raking in with a  hand rake for small areas.  Avoid covering the seeds too deeply and using more than the recommended seeding rate. 

If you are just scattering the seed on the top of the soil, make sure that there is good seed-to-soil contact by pressing the seed down or covering them with a thin layer of mulch.  For a natural meadow-effect use only non-sod-forming grasses to mix with your wildflower seeds. 

Gently soak the area and maintain consistent moisture for 4 to 6 weeks.  If irrigation is not practical, try to take advantage of early spring moisture to aid with germination.  In more temperate climates take advantage of the cooler winter rainy season.  In dry climates or drought conditions water may be required after germination, tapering off as the plants become well established.

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When to Plant Wildflowers

Wildflowers can be planted in the early spring when many people are planting their gardens or in the late Fall when Mother Nature does her planting.  In southern, more temperate climates, plan to plant the seeds just before the cooler rainy months of winter.  This gives the seedlings a chance to get established before the warmer season begins.

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Maintenance and What to Expect

The first season after planting your wildflower mix, you should see the brilliant colors of the annuals, since they are the species that will bloom the first season.  They will reseed themselves, but will not be as abundant the following year. 

The perennial species in the mix will take the first year or two to expand their root systems and become well established.  You should see the blooms of the perennials beginning in the second or third years. 

Take time to evaluate your site.  Do some of the species do better in one area rather than another?  Purchase some of those seeds to augment the more favorable spots for that species for a stronger showing.

In the early spring of the second year sow some “All Annuals Mix” over the site to continue a strong showing of the annual species that were so brilliant the first season.