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How to grow wildflower meadow plants

Overview

In addition to being an important wildlife habitat, a wildflower meadow provides a valuable source of food for bees, butterflies and hoverflies.

Fortunately, you don’t need a large area of land to create your own wildflower area – a small plot of land is sufficient for growing a ‘mini meadow’. The easiest method is to use plug plants; simply mow your lawn and remove all grass clippings, then plant the plugs at random intervals (five per square metre). You can also plant plugs into bare soil.

You can easily sow seed in trays to make your own plugs. Choose wildflowers such as field scabious, greater knapweed, ox-eye daisy, cowslip, ragged robin, red campion, red clover, tufted vetch and wild carrot. Sow them in seed trays, then plant them out as strong, healthy plants, to ensure your meadow establishes reliably.

For information on preparing and maintaining a wildflower meadow, visit bbcgardening.co.uk.


How to do it

 
Filling the modular seed tray

1

Fill the modular tray with seed compost, pressing it down firmly to remove any air pockets. Water well and leave to drain.


Using a pen to sow the seeds

2

Empty the contents of the seed packet into your palm and use the tip of a biro to place two or three seeds on the surface of each modular cell.


Covering the seeds with compost

3

Cover the seeds with a fine layer or sieved compost - use the bottom of a plant pot to sieve the soil if you don't have a soil sieve.


4

Leave the tray in a warm, well lit position. If you're sowing in spring, the plugs should be ready to plant out in eight to 10 weeks. If sowing in autumn, keep the plugs in an unheated greenhouse or cold frame over winter, and plant out in spring.




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Talkback: How to grow wildflower meadow plants
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GlenG 30/03/2012 at 17:47

Nice and simple to do! I'm trying to turn a plain boring verge into a wildflower "meadow" - bought plugs are too expensive a way to do it and I've had poor result (sub 10%) with direct planted seed, so this would make a good use of my plug trays which are usually unused over the winter too.

gillthepill 19/07/2012 at 20:14

i have a patch of grassland which is occupied by nettles, thistles, brambles and cleaver. How and when do i clear this so that any plug plants ( next year ) will survive ?

Bethan Atkins 28/04/2013 at 08:26

We have a a lot of grassed banks which we have to strim! Would a wild meadow work on these? Any idea? Thanks