Wildflower Grow Guide
A wildflower is a plant that is native to its region and grows naturally in the wild hence the name (wildflowers). Wildflowers are drought tolerant and also attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Creating a wildflower garden can be really awesome as you give your landscapes and garden areas a facelift to enhance their appearance. What I love about garden construction is taking an area that is unsightly or barren and turning it into a thing of beauty where there is an array of colors that are pleasing to the eyes along with providing a habitat for wildlife.
In this article, we will be doing just that, turning that drab area into a work of art that is breathtaking so that both you, your family, and your friends can enjoy. But what are the steps to take in constructing a wildflower garden?
Steps to create a wildflower garden
- Soil type
- Type of plants suited for your zone
- Site preparation
- When to plant
- what to plant
- How to plant
- Using Mulch
- How to water
- When to water
- Benefits of pruning
What is a wildflower garden?
Wildflowers are flowers that grow in the wild. These are flowers that were not intentionally planted. Seeds of these sorts are carried by the wind, under the feet of animals such as birds, cats, dogs, bird droppings, etc…
The seeds are detached from the animals and germinate creating a garden that is lush and colorful. This is one of nature’s ways of adding beauty and color to the earth’s landscape.
We will be doing the same also by using nature as our example to get the same results as these gardens look all-natural like no human effort was involved.
How to grow a wildflower garden?
1. Location-Choosing the right location is so important in order to have success with your wildflower garden. Choose a location that gets at least 4-6 hours of sunlight.
2. Soil type– Soil plays such an important part in having garden success. Many gardens that have failed can be traced back to the soil type. Plants have different soil requirements, therefore, we must know what those requirements are.
While it is true that wildflowers may grow in different soil types I prefer to use good garden soil or an organic soil mix. When choosing soil type, the soil should be well-drained soil, a soil that will allow for proper air circulation and soil that will contribute to microbial activities.
A soil that holds the right amount of water but will allow excess water to drain through and soils that will retain fertilizers for plant use.
3. Type of wildflower for your zone– This is also very important, ensure that the wildflowers that are chosen fit your zone. A good source of information is your nurseryman or garden center sales rep.
4. Site preparation-Before planting or sowing wildflower seeds, it is best to do a site evaluation. Remove all debris, rocks, trash, bottles, cans, weeds, etc…
If you can afford to rent a tilling machine this will greatly help because these machines will not only loosen the soil making it much easier for seeds to establish once sown but will also assist with good water penetration and proper air circulation.
When adding additional soil such as good garden soil or organic soil mix, the tilling machines will properly mix these soils together making a good blend.
5. When to the seeds-The best time to install a wildflower garden is from spring through fall.
6. What to plant– When it comes to knowing what to plant this is where you will have to do a little homework and you will be on your way to having garden success.
Because the seed mix says wildflowers are not sufficient. What you want is a package that identifies the seed mix which will give you a clear idea of what you are working with.
7. How to plant-When sowing your wildflower seeds cover the area by walking in one direction and then walking in the opposite direction ensuring that the entire area is covered.
Lightly rake the seeds evenly over the soil surface and press lightly with a heavyweight so seeds can be pushed into the soil. Add about an inch or two of soil on top of the seeds.
8. The use of mulches-Mulches is an added bonus because mulches help to hold water or moisture, keep the soil temperature cool, can help to suppress weeds and as mulches break down it helps condition the soil along with adding nutrients.
Even though mulches suppress weeds there are some handing weeding that may need to be carried out so keep your wildflower garden as weed-free as possible because weeds can and will overtake your garden, which will encourage disease and insect pests problems.
9. How to water-When watering your wildflower garden wait until the soil is dried out somewhat before giving it a good soaking, insufficient water may cause plants to go into shock as well as overwatering can bring on a fungal disease which can further damage plants.
10. When to the water-The best time to water is in the morning, watering too late in the evening will cause fungal disease because the soil won’t have time to dry out in time. The warmth of the late evening along with moisture makes the perfect condition for disease development so water plants in the morning.
11. Fertilizing your wildflower garden-It is great to help your wildflower plants by placing them on a fertilizer program. A water-soluble fertilizer such as triple twenty and other fertilizers that are water-soluble make a great choice.
12. Cutting back wildflowers- The following season cut your wildflowers back to the soil surface. This will give you a healthy lush of new growth. Clean up clippings and keep your garden as debris-free as possible because a build-up of debris can lead to disease and insect pests problems.
13. The benefit of pruning-Pruning offers such benefits as it relates to plant life. Pruning your plants as needed will keep your plants healthy while producing lush green growth along with an abundance of flowers.
For more on the benefits of pruning and how to prune. Click on the link that has been provided. Pruning methods. Pruning plants is a great way to keep them healthy and flourishing.
Insect pests control
Insect pests can become an issue with your wildflower garden so get to know your plants and check with your nurseryman to help identify and control insect pests.
Again get to know your plants and asked for help from your garden nurseryman on identifying and controlling plant diseases.
Maintaining your plants
Deadheading is a great way for your plants to go through a rejuvenating process. The advantage of deadheading will cause your plant’s energy to be shifted from setting seeds to producing stems and leaves
Wildflower garden ideas
A great idea that can work wonders for a wildflower garden is to remove a part of your garden lawn, make a square shape, and place or sow seeds in the center or more at the back of the lawn.
Also, use edging to act as a barrier to discourage grass from growing into wildflower beds. An idea like this is pretty neat and will help to highlight your lawn area.
What can also help is adding other garden features such as arbors, a birdbath, etc… that will give your wildflower garden that wow.
Wildflower plant list
Here are some plants that can be included in your wildflower garden.
- Orange tiger lilies
- Butterfly weeds
- Queen of the prairie
- Native Coreopsis
- Gerbera daisy
- Common daisy
- Sweet william
The final word on how to grow a wildflower garden
Growing a wildflower garden is not hard at all it is very simple. It is all a matter of following these steps which have been laid out for you and before you know it you will have a garden that is filled with beautiful colors as wildlife is seen making this type of garden their habitat.
So go ahead and plant a wildflower garden which can make such a big difference as you give nature a helping hand because by helping nature we are helping ourselves.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.