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How to Plant Wildflowers
Step by step instructions on how to plant your wildflower seeds.
Find mixtures for your region, or for special uses such as dry areas, partial shade, attracting animals, low growing, and more.
Over 75 choices that will bloom in the second year and for years to come.
Over 110 choices for fast color, such as poppies, cosmos, sunflowers, zinnia, and many more.
Help the birds, bees, butterflies & hummingbirds by planting wildflowers.
Wildflower seeds native to your region. Support local wildlife with native wildflowers.
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Wildflowers on a slope! Every year, we get questions from all over the country on this subject. "Can we plant on a slope? Will our seed wash away? What about erosion?" Here are two different gardeners who solved all the problems with great results.
Erin, one of our long-time employees, is always up for experimenting and planting new varieties on her property in Northern Vermont. This spring, the Seed Man prepped a 4,000 square ft. sloped area on her property to plant a variety of wildflowers, including our Northeast Mix, Black Eyed Susans, Zinnias, Cosmos and more. The results were spectacular! This hard-to-reach sloped area is now bursting with wildflowers that require little water and maintenance.
This sloped area on Erin's property is visible from the road, so she wanted to plant something there that would create curb appeal but not require much maintenance. Wildflowers are a great option for sloped garden beds or meadows because most annual varieties sprout quickly. This means their roots grow quickly, which makes them less susceptible to being washed away in a rainstorm. Erin chose a wildflower mixture that had both annuals and perennials in it (our Northeast Mix) so she wouldn't have to keep re-seeding the area each year.
This unique wildflower gets its name from the multitude of blooms that emerge on each plant, resembling shooting stars. This hardy wildflower can produce up to twelve delicate blosso...
Desmondium canadense is great for shady, moist wild gardens. Lovely foliage and flowers. Perennial...
This rare wildflower lights up the summer garden with orange/red, show flowers. The bright blooms also attract hummingbirds and butterflies! Biennial....
Turtlehead is an easy-to-grow beauty that boasts dense spikes of pure white flowers on richly-green foliage. This native plant plays a vital role in nature – It acts as a host plan...
This cheerful, unique flower thrives in extremely moist climates and is often found in swampy areas or along stream banks in the wild. An early bloomer, Marsh Marigolds are a great a...
Bright-magenta blooms make a bold statement in the summer garden or meadow, spreading quickly each year. This gorgeous wildflower is easy to grow, tolerating dry soil and full sun to...
Reaching heights of 3-6’, blue-violet blooms create a grand statement in the late summer garden or meadow. The perfect, dramatic backdrop in your shade garden. Perennial....
The cheery, gold daisy-like flowers of this easy wildflower are common all over our southwestern deserts. Annual....
Mike used a tractor to dig up the existing grass, then rototilled the area to loosen the soil. Whenever you're planting wildflowers -- especially if it's in a hard-to-reach area like a slope -- soil preparation is key. Seeds requires good contact with the soil in order to germinate and the more prep you can do, the better.
After Mike prepped the soil, he spread the seed by hand and used a roller to compact the seed into the soil. This is a key step, especially for this sloped area. If you're planting a smaller area, you can simply walk on the seed after planting to compress it. This compression helps prevent seed from washing away in the rain and also improves germination rate.
As you can see by the photos below, the results were impressive throughout the season, starting at the end of July and lasting through September. Erin and her daughter Lily enjoyed the colorful blooms and had plenty to cut for bouquets.
Two years later, Erin's family has grown by one (a daughter, Abby), and the wildflower meadow on the slope is still as colorful as ever! Erin says they add a little more seed each year to fill in the bare spots but that the area is still extremely low maintenance. It blooms from May all the way into the fall and brings their family joy each season. Erin snapped these photos over the summer of 2017.
Our members, Dot and Pete Ramsdell, live in a famously beautiful spot near Cavendish Village, Vermont. There they have a charming log home with rolling lawns and mountain scenery, but there was one problem. The house sits on a hill, and just in front, the ground slopes toward a large lawn at an angle of 45 degrees. The slope made the view from the house beautiful, but as with all steep slopes, it made mowing difficult. So several years ago, the Ramsdells tried planting the slope, but as as Pete writes, "Weeds and grasses overtook our original plantings. It was time to reseed." They decided to try wildflower seeds on the sloping area, instead of grass.
"This time, I knew preparation was key. In late fall, four years ago after mowing the original patch we applied Roundup to the whole area with our ATV sprayer attachment. In the spring we again applied Roundup to kill any remaining grass and weeds. Because of erosion concerns we did not rototill. Instead we lightly scratched the surface with a york rake, leaving the old roots intact, but providing a seed bed for new seeds. We hand-sowed the Northeastern Mixture as per your directions, and Mother nature took over from there. We have been told by many that the results are spectacular."
We couldn’t agree more. And we thank Pete and Dot for sharing not only their beautiful photos, but a great, clear explanation on how it was done.