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Native British Wildflowers
Planning a wildflower meadow Sowing Tips Advisory Service
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Sowing Tips

It is possible to sow Wildflower seeds directly outdoors onto a carefully prepared seed bed. However, it is usually preferable to sow into trays of seed compost. If you do this please try to use one of the brands of `Peat-free` composts now available. This is important because the commercial extraction of peat is threatening our peat bogs.
Place the trays outdoors in a cold glass house or under a sheet of glass as a substitute. Once the seeds have germinated, wait until they reach the `3 leaf` stage and then prick out into individual plant pots. Grow on into full plants before planting out into their permanent positions. If you do sow directly outdoors it is important that the seed bed is kept free of all unwanted weeds until the Wildflowers are well established. The recommended sowing rate is 1 gram per square metre.

When to sow:

Wild flower seeds can generally be sown at any time of year. However, it is best to avoid periods of drought or very waterlogged conditions. Varieties requiring stratification are best sown in trays of seed compost in the autumn and placed outside for germination the following spring.

Special Treatment:

There is no hard and fast rule as to how long Wildflower seeds take to germinate. Some types will do so quite readily, whilst others can take a long time. However, germination of certain wild flower seeds can be improved by applying special treatments notably:-
1. Scarification - This is where hard coated seeds can be encouraged to germinate more readily by rubbing lightly between two sheets of sandpaper thence allowing moisture to penetrate more readily. Within our range of seeds this applies to Rockrose, Meadow Cranesbill, Trefoils and Vetches, Clustered Bellflower, Bluebell, Ribbed Meliot and Sainfoin.
2. Stratification - This is where a seed needs to be subjected to a period of chilling before germination will occur. This can be achieved by mixing with some moist compost and placing the seed in a refrigerator for approx 8 weeks. Alternatively seed can be sown outdoors in the autumn for germination the following spring. Within our range of seeds this applies to Mignonette, Sweet Violet, Bluebell, Weld, Sweet Cicely, Hemp Agrimony, Clustered Bellflower, Wild Carrot, Cowslip, Oxlip, Yellow Flag Iris, Water Avens, Primrose, Yellow Rattle, and Meadow Sweet.

You may also find that certain varieties germinate best in different types of compost e.g. seeds of wetland plants will often germinate well in coir based compost, whereas the seed of Heather would require a low Ph (acid based) compost.


The following varieties of Wildflower seed should be sown directly outside onto soil and not in trays of compost :- Corn Poppy, Corn Marigold, Cornflower, Long Headed Poppy, Wild Pansy, Yellow Rattle, Sweet Cicely, Violet and Meadow Saxifrage. Yellow Rattle should always be sown together with seeds of grass on which it is a partial parasite. For further information on Wild Flower propagation please contact us for expert advice on 01452 311525.

Depth of Seeds

Small Wild Flower seeds should be sown straight onto the surface of the soil or compost and left uncovered. Larger seeds should be covered with a light layer of compost or soil.

Yellow Flag Wildflowers, 8 Plock Court, Longford, Gloucester. GL2 9DW tel/fax 01452 311525
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