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Fall Wildflower Meadow Maintenance: Adding Seed

Now that we’ve mowed our meadow it’s time to start thinking about adding some seed. Maybe you’ve got an area that the grasses and weeds have crept in or we want to replenish some annual color that may or may not be back next year.

Cosmos Wildflower Mix

Sow Cosmos Wildflower Mix for exuberant color next summer

Whenever we’re sowing or adding seed, we always want to make sure we’re getting good seed-to-soil contact. So once we’ve identified the areas that we want to add seed, it’s easiest to take a rake or similar tool, gently rake away the cuttings from our mowing to expose the soil below. I always recommend scratching the soil to loosen and you’re ready to sow your seed.

So what varieties of wildflowers are the best for fall sowing? Certainly it can depend on how cold your winters may get but most species, both annuals and perennials are quite hardy and even annuals such as Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) and California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) do very well sown in the fall. They survive our cold New England winters to provide great color the following season.

If you’re looking to fill in small areas within an already established meadow, most will choose their favorites with individual species. Some of the more popular annual varieties include Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria), Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus), Calendula (Calendula officianalis), Indian Blanket (Gaillardia puchella) and Red Poppy (Papaver rhoeas). Popular perennials include Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis), Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and Shasta Daisy (Chrysanthemum maximum).

Deer Resistant Wildflower Seed Mix

Consider seeding thin spots in your meadow with Deer Resistant Wildflower Seed Mix this fall.

For sowing or filling in larger areas I would recommend a wildflower mixture. A well blended wildflower mix containing a variety of both annuals and perennials will be a more economical option. Not only will you save some money, you’ll get the benefits of the quick annual color the first growing season and perennials for the second and successive seasons. All our regional mixtures contain at least 25 different species designed for continuous blooms all season long, for years to come.

So as the temperatures begin to cool and Autumn is upon us, I hope we’ve inspired you to think of the fall season as another opportunity to sow some wildflower seed.

Happy Gardening!
The Seed Man

2 thoughts on “Fall Wildflower Meadow Maintenance: Adding Seed”

  • doreen clay

    zone 7 1to lbs shade /fall/and poppie mix
    I sowed my seeds in Oct and it got up to about 70 low and behold the flowers all started sprouting!!Oh no will any make it throu the winter or do I have to buy more seeds?Also took out my Dalhia blubs and Nakeds ladies is that right? The ladies never bloomed or showed the two green sprouts.But yes sir they do now!! I saw the greens things sticking out removed them to protect them for the winter.Is this right? I love you guys!!thanks Doreen

    Reply
    • Suzanne DeJohn

      Ahh...Mother Nature sometimes doesn't cooperate and we're happily (or not so happily) given some late warm weather that can lead to seed germinating. If it stays warm for an extended period of time the perennials may have just enough time to get established prior to the cooler weather settling in. They will go dormant and begin to flower next season with no problem. You may lose your annuals and I might recommend having some extra annual seed to sow next spring, just in case they don't come up. I'd hold off from adding more seed until spring 2011. As far as the bulbs, yes, you were right to dig them up in your climate. The fact that they're sprouting now may pose problems for them next year. All you can do is wait and see how they hold up in storage over the winter.

      Reply
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