Fall Wildflower Meadow Maintenance: Adding Seed
Now that weâ€™ve mowed our meadow itâ€™s time to start thinking about adding some seed. Maybe youâ€™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.
Whenever weâ€™re sowing or adding seed, we always want to make sure weâ€™re getting good seed-to-soil contact. So once weâ€™ve identified the areas that we want to add seed, itâ€™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 youâ€™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 youâ€™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).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, youâ€™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 weâ€™ve inspired you to think of the fall season as another opportunity to sow some wildflower seed.
The Seed Man