If you want to plant wildflowers in your garden and are thinking that you’ve got until next spring to make a start – think again! Wildflower mixes can actually benefit from an autumn sowing, so grab your wildflower mix from your local nursery or garden centre now, and get sowing…

Why you should plant wildflowers in autumn

According to research by Florette, 60% of people in the UK want to plant wildflowers in order to benefit the environment, but 88% don’t actually know that wildflowers can be planted in autumn. In fact, autumn sowing of wildflowers has become so common that it is widely accepted as the norm amongst gardeners.

Autumn sowing is better for wildflowers because:

  • It encourages earlier flowering in spring, because the winter frosts break the dormancy period of the newly sown seeds
  • The seeds absorbs more water, as there is more moisture in the air during autumn
  • The risk of damage from birds is reduced, as there are abundant alternative food sources available to them in the autumn
  • The seeds require less manual watering due to higher rainfall during autumn and winter

Now that you know when to plant wildflowers and why you should plant them in autumn, here are some tips on getting the best out of your plants!


Tips for planting wildflowers in autumn

Four in five people say their love for plants has grown over the last two years, with 61% stating that the main reason for this was the positive impact caring for their plants had on their mental health. If you’re relatively new to gardening, wildflowers are very low maintenance plants that grow well in poor conditions by themselves, with little to no human intervention. All you need is a little bit of initial effort.

When sowing wildflowers in autumn, don’t wait too late! Unlike bulbs, where you can leave planting until late December (at a push, albeit), the latest month in which wildflowers should be sown is October. Sowing too late allows frost to damage the seed, meaning the loss of any chance of germination.

Here are some other tips for sowing wildflowers in autumn:

  • Use well draining soil in a sunny area – while seeds need moisture to germinate, soil that is allowed to become waterlogged during the winter may result in rotting.
  • Prepare your sowing area two weeks before sowing – do this by weeding, and removing any patches of grass or debris. In addition, you can remove the top layer of soil to reduce fertility (wildflowers usually require nutrient-poor soil).
  • Avoid adding any compost or fertiliser to the area
  • Just before sowing, rake the soil to achieve a fine, level seed bed
  • Water just after sowing, then keep moist for the first six weeks. Water manually if there is very little rainfall.

Apparently, many people are unable to identify common wildflowers, such as buttercups (30%), daisies (28%) and poppies (9%). Maybe, by planting these wildflowers, you can spread the education to anyone who visits your garden, whether it’s friends, family, or a nosey neighbour!

What are your favourite wildflowers? Let me know in the comments section below!

Florette are the sponsors of series eight of The Plant Based Podcast, which features a captivating episode on the beauty of wildflowers with Norfolk wildlife garden Natural Surroundings. You can listen to this episode and all of the episodes here.

Images c/o Pixabay

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