Dec 4, 2023 | Gardening Advice

Proper site preparation is important for the prompt germination of seed and the healthy growth of seedlings. Best results will be obtained by planting on cleared ground. Remove existing vegetation to avoid competition from other plants. This may be done by pulling, tilling under, spraying with a contact herbicide (such as “Roundup”), following label instructions, or by a combination of these methods, depending on the size of the area. Loosen soil by tilling, scarifying, or double digging. Soil should be ammended for best results.

The method of seeding depends on the size of the area and the terrain. On small areas, broadcast seeds evenly either by hand, or by use of a drop or cyclone spreader. Rake in lightly, covering seeds to a maximum depth of 2-3 times their thickness, or drag large areas lightly with a piece of chain link fence to mix the seed into the surface of the soil. For seeding very large areas, specially designed drills are most effective; hydroseeders are also effective, especially on steep slopes, rocky terrain and other areas where conditions make it impractical for driving equipment.

All wild flowers need ample moisture to germinate and to develop into healthy seedlings. Best results will be obtained by moistening the planted areas thoroughly and maintaining consistent moisture for 4-6 weeks – then gradually reducing waterings. Seeds should be sown in the spring or early summer. If the soil needs improvement, use a low nitrogen fertilizer such as 5-10-10. Avoid overfertilizing which may promote weed growth and lush foliage. Adequate weed control throughout the growing season is very important.
Perennial wildflowers can be mowed in the fall following seed set. Mow to a height of 4-6 inches. Leave the residue on the ground because it is a reservoir of viable seed.

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