Why plant wildflowers?
Simply because the changes in land management techniques over the last century have led to a huge reduction of wildflower meadows.
Since the 1930’s, 98% or more of these nectar rich floral habitats have disappeared.
Our natural wildlife has adapted to live with our natural wildflowers.
- It is not just our bees that depend on the nectar that the wildflowers produce - a myriad of other insects are also reliant on these nectar sources.
- Many insects are also dependent on the wildflower leaves as a food source for themselves and their young.
- Besides all these insects, many species of birds and small mammals also rely on the food source provided by the wildflower seeds.
- Of course, the wildflower seeds are produced as a result of the pollination of the wildflowers by the bees and insects.
- Naturally, there are thousands of other animal species that also depend on all these bees, bugs, birds and small mammals as a food source.
So it can be seen how easy it is to give nature a helping hand by planting wildflowers that will have impacts all the way up and down the food chain.
Wildflowers prefer soil that has not had fertiliser.
Prepare the soil for sowing by raking to break up any clumps of soil.
Tip: If the area has previously been overgrown with other undesirable plants, allow time for their seeds to germinate and remove them before sowing - in this case do not rake or disturb the soil to avoid bringing further undesirable seeds to the surface.
Mix the seeds well with some compost, as much as you want - this will help to evenly distribute the seeds over the soil when they are sown.
This also makes sure there is plenty to go round so everyone can get involved with the planting.
Wildflower seeds can be sown anytime from mid March to late October.
The new plants can take from a few weeks to several months to establish according to species.