An important wildlife habitat, a wildflower meadow provides a valuable source of food and breeding opportunities 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 make your own plugs by sowing seed in trays. Choose wildflowers such as field scabious, greater knapweed, ox-eye daisy, cowslip, ragged robin, red campion, red clover, musk mallow and wild carrot. Sow them in seed trays, then plant them out as strong, healthy plants, to ensure your meadow establishes reliably.
In this practical video from Gardeners’ World, Monty Don shows you how to create a wildflower patch from a selection of plug plants. All of them will thrive in heavy stony soil, and include coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), lesser knapweed (Centaurea nigra) and devil’s bit scabious (Succisa pratensis). Watch now to pick up planting tips, including spacing, and discover the advantages of plug plants over growing wildflowers from seed:
Find out how to sow your own wildflower plugs, below.
You Will Need
- Modular tray
- Seed compost
- Wildflower seed
- Soil sieve
- Watering can
Fill the modular tray with seed compost, pressing it down firmly to remove any air pockets. Water well and leave to drain.
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.
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.
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.