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There are a number of factors that go into a successful wildflower planting. A couple of important factors that surface quite often when talking with customers are soil composition and sunlight conditions. In a perfect world weâ€™d all get 6 hours of sun and have well balanced soil with perfect amounts of silt and clay. But the nature of growing conditions means that some variability is to be expected.
Letâ€™s first take a look at sunlight. When we refer to â€śfull sunâ€ť weâ€™re usually taking about 6 or more hours a day. Customers are often nervous that theyâ€™re not getting enough sun and when I ask them how many hours they proceed to tell me 10-12 hours. Now thatâ€™s a lot of sun so theyâ€™re usually relieved when I tell them theyâ€™re getting plenty. But what happens when youâ€™re only getting 3-4 hours? These situations are certainly more challenging for not only the avid gardener, but the novice alike.
Through my 20 years of consulting Iâ€™ve come up with a very easy first step in this process and thatâ€™s to simply go out to the area in question and see whatâ€™s currently growing. This is a very fast, cost effective way of understanding your situation. Some things to looks for:
â€śI spread the seeds in a long partially shaded piece of the property, previously covered in weeds. turned over the soil, threw the seeds and watered… 2nd year is looking better than the first!â€ť â€“ LTW â€“ Pittsburgh, PA
Sounds too easy, right? These simple observations can go a long way in determining your success. Weâ€™ve formulated our Partial Shade Mix with limited sunlight in mind. This mix is a hardy blend of annuals and perennials that should succeed in areas that may only get 3-4 hours of sun daily. Under proper conditions you should see germination and seedling in 7-10 days with flowers in 4- 6 weeks. If youâ€™ve sown this mix and after 2 or more weeks youâ€™re yet to see germination, we may have underestimated sunlight.
â€śVery low production in first year. Seems to have kicked into at least low gear this spring. But the shady mixture may have needed a little more light. Recommending only because it is at least doing something in the shade.â€ť â€“ RoPo – Kaw River Valley, KS
Look for a related post on our Dry Area Mix for planting wildflowers in dryer soil conditions.
~ The Seed Man