Wildflower Growing


Spring is officially here and there’s no nicer way to get into the National Gardening Week spirit than by planting some wildflowers. Wildflowers are a brilliant alternative to lawns and borders. They will provide a stunning display for many months as well as bringing a wide array of beneficial wildlife to your garden with bees, butterflies and wild birds in particular attracted to the blooms. 

New gardeners often struggle with how and where seeds should be sown and how thinly. It’s all too easy to cram a packet of seed meant for a 10m squared (108 ft squared) space into just a metre squared (11 ft squared). A great way for novices to get around this is to use wildflower carpets. In these the seeds are pre-sown into a carpet, meaning you will have an even distribution of random mixed wildflowers wherever you place it.

Seed carpets can be sown any time between March and June or from late-October to mid-November. First clear your border or flowerbed, making sure you are rid of any vigorous perennial weeds, before digging, firming and then raking. Sow your carpet directly onto the prepared soil and cover with a very thin sprinkling of compost. Keep the soil moist and you should see the first signs of flowers: six to eight weeks after sowing if sown in spring, or from April if sown in autumn or in the second year.

Follow or like the RHS on Twitter or on Facebook, where we will be giving away a variety of prizes during National Gardening Week, including Simple Sowing products.