by Mike Lizotte
I love this time of year as I begin to get calls and photos with updates on wildflower meadows around the country. Over the next few weeks, I thought I would share a few favorites that I’ll be updating throughout the season!
About 10 years ago I received a call from Jeff Brown, owner of the West Bolton Golf Club; about adding some color to the course. He had a number of areas that he not only wanted to beautify, but also cut down on mowing as well. For the past 10 years he’s been sowing in a variety of locations around the course. This spring we returned to the mountains of Bolton to install a couple of wildflowers areas.
As with most golf course plantings I’ve consulted on through the years, we had two primary objectives; #1 – Cut down on mowing #2 – Add color; it beats looking at fescue (especially when searching for your ball in the rough!).
Jeff has chosen two separate areas to sow this year. The first area was approximately 16,000 square feet in a circular shape. The second area was a low-lying flat that measured approximately 14,000 square feet. Both areas were tilled using a tractor-drawn tiller, which for larger areas is the fastest and most cost-effective. For larger plantings, most local landscape companies will offer tiller services that shouldn’t break the bank.
We planned on sowing our seed a day before we had some rain forecasted. Both areas do not have irrigation and rely solely on Mother Nature for watering. We chose a nice blend of annual and perennial wildflowers to provide some quick yet constant color through the season and subsequent years. Both areas are very visible by the golfers so we really want to make a splash. We combined our All Annual Mix along with our Butterfly and Hummingbird Mix for each area. We sowed for a lush stand at 1 lb. per 1,000 square feet, rolled the seed, and we were done. We did get rains the following two days, which assured quick germination.
I’ll be back in the coming weeks with updates throughout the season.