Last year I wrote a three part series on my first year growing a wildflower meadow. My goal for this wildflower garden was to have a field full of flowers, without much effort. In summary, last year we plowed the soil, scattered the seeds, and let them grow. You can read about my experiences last year by clicking on the following links:
Planning a meadow | Planting a wildflower meadow | Growing a wildflower garden
There were a few things I learned my first year growing a wildflower garden, and some things I wanted to improve upon to have even more flowers. Keep reading to see what I did my second year planting my wildflower meadow. WARNING: If you are a neat and tidy gardener, be prepared to see lots of weeds in these pictures. My goal for this wildflower garden was lots of flowers, with minimal work, which means letting the weeds go.
Add More Seeds
Last year I let the kids scatter the wildflower seeds, and the flowers ended up being concentrated towards the back of the wildflower meadow. I love getting the kids involved with my projects, but I also like to have a little bit of control. This year I again got the Cottage Garden and Bird and Butterfly wildflower mixes from Vesey’s seeds. I used the same method of seed sowing as last year, by mixing the seeds with sand and scattering them evenly. This year though I did it by myself so I could put the most seeds where I knew it needed more.
Take into consideration the weather
Last year was a very wet year and I’m sure that affected how the plants grew. It rained so much. Usually rain is good, but I think last year we got too much and it stunted the growth of my plants. This year we had a late spring, but I was still able to sow the seeds around the end of May when the risk of frost was over. I sowed the seeds on a rainy day, but then watered for a few days after that to ensure germination. If we have a particularly dry spell I’ll water the field, but other than that I don’t water often.
Fertilizer and extra top soil
I had planned to put a layer of top soil or manure on top of the soil in the early spring and roll it all flat. However, it’s amazing how early in the spring the grass grows and the seeds start to come up. If I still want to enrich the soil and roll the meadow, I should plan to do that this fall. I did throw some slow release fertilizer all over the field to help the plants grow big and strong.
This year I added a few hardscaping elements. Tony and I built a corner fence post to add some interest. I also added some large rocks in the other corner to delineate the edges and give us a few reference points to mow around. And I painted a few rustic boxes with bright colored chalk paint and crackle medium to add a pop of constant color in that corner. (You can read the full tutorial in my guest post on Sustain My Craft Habit.)
And there you have it! Did those weeds make you cringe? By the end of summer I’m counting on lots of flowers, and will share with you the results of my wildflower garden.
This is all so beautiful Jessica. I can just imagine the birds and bees and beautiful fresh air. Can’t wait to see as your meadow grows. Thank you so much for sharing the planter tutorial with us.
I have a wildflower garden on my weeping bed. I have a hard time differentiating weeds from flowers until it’s too late and I have more weeds than flowers. How do you manage this?
Jessica Vanderveen says
I had the same problem. My thoughts for my wildflower garden is I would just accept that fact that there will be weeds. I pull the weeds when I definitely know they aren’t flowers. And yes, I ended up with a lot of weeds. I’m planning on trying something different this year, my wildflower garden is still a work in progress