Since wildflower mixes contain some annual varieties, the best time of year to plant is early spring. Pick a location that receives plenty of sunlight and can receive adequate moisture, either by rain or supplemental watering. Adequate watering is especially important during the germination process. Best results are obtained on cleared ground. Remove any existing vegetation, and lightly till the surface to be planted. Heavy tilling is not recommended, as this will bring dormant weed seeds to the soil's surface. When sowing, it is recommended wildflower seeds be mixed with dry sand, the proportion being 2 parts sand to 1 part seeds. Mixing with sand will aid in the even distribution of the seeds. Sow the seed and sand mixture in two different directions. Rake the area lightly after planting to make sure the seeds have good contact with the soil. DO NOT cover the seeds too deeply, as this will result in poor germination. In small areas, we recommend placing a floating row cover over the area after planting. This will protect the seeds from heavy rains and keep unwanted weed seeds from entering the site. After the seeds have germinated and the plants reach about two inches in height, remove the row cover. During the first 4-6 weeks, the plants will need constant moisture; after that time period, gradually reduce watering. Depending on weather conditions, you may not need to water the rest of the season. Try to keep weeds under control, especially during the spring. After the bed becomes established, weeds will become less of a problem. Most wildflower plantings do not require any supplemental fertilizer; however, if the area sowed has very poor soil (test the soil before planting), you may fertilize with a good organic fertilizer low in nitrogen. Fertilizers high in nitrogen will promote weed growth and lush foliage rather than flowers.
What about next year's growth?
Many of the annuals will self seed depending on the local weather conditions. If a mixture suited for your area was used, the majority of perennials will flower the second year. It is sometimes desirable or even necessary to sow seed in the second and subsequent years. Reseeding may be necessary if annuals from the previous year's planting have not successfully re-seeded themselves. When this happens, the sowing of annuals each spring can produce a magnificent annual and perennial display throughout the growing season.
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