by Mike Lizotte
Now that we've talked about the best time to fall plant, and we have a handle on how we're going to prepare the area, it's time to choose our seed. This is my favorite part as there are endless options to choose from.
If you're planning an area that will be seeded for the first time, I would recommend taking a look at our proven regional mixtures. These are popular with fellow wildflower enthusiasts for a couple of reasons. First, they provide the "best bang for your buck". With most of our regional mixtures containing over 25 different species, it will introduce you to a large variety of different wildflowers. Secondly, with the nice mix of both annuals for first year color, and perennials for the second and successive seasons, they will provide lasting color for years to come. It's also a great way to learn the different life cycles of the wildflowers that you're planting, especially if you're new to wildflower gardening.
We also offer specialty mixtures, such as our All Annual and All Perennial Mixtures, for people that are looking for a nice blend of specific types of flowers. Other specialty mixtures include Partial Shade, Dry Area, and Deer Resistant, for areas that may require a more site-specific blend.
Now, if you already have an established wildflower planting, and you're just looking to add a little extra color for the following season, we offer over 150 individual species to choose from. We offer a great selection of annuals and perennials to choose from and provide a wealth of information for each variety we sell, located on the specific product page. Fall is a great time to add a little extra seed of your "favorite" varieties into your planting.
The most common question I get, regarding adding additional seed in an established planting, is how to best go about adding seed. We certainly don't want to till or disturb the area too much as we have some nice flowers already, right!?
The easiest and most effective way to add more seed is taking a steel rake and roughing up small areas, or "pockets," throughout the area. We can then sprinkle the seed directly in the areas we've just roughed up and give it a quick compression with our foot. This will assure that we haven't disturbed the area too much, while still getting good seed to soil contact with the new seed we've just added. A common mistake people make is that they'll just take more seed and throw it out into an established area. The problem with this is that you might only get a few dozen seeds that actually get to the ground and, given the fact that there's aprox. 500,000 seeds in 1 lb. of our regional mixtures, the odds of getting a nice show from the new seed are not very good. So, although a little extra work, you will reap the rewards with more blooms for years to come!
Now we've covered when to plant, how to prepare, and I've given suggestions on mixtures and species. Now it's time for the fun part. Sow, Sow, Sow!
Enjoy your time in the garden this autumn and remember that fall brings us a "second spring" for planting!
Happy Gardening...The Seed Man