AO
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Wildflower Garden

If I plant a wildflower garden is there anything that I should be aware of?

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Jess
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Hi AO :D

What a wonderful idea. :)

Yes several things.
It needs to be managed. It is better to prepare your area a few weeks in advance so any weed seeds starting to grow from freshly tilled soil can be removed before you sow. You will also need to be on the look out for weeds especially in the early stages as your seedlings are growing. Much better to weed a little regularly than wait until things are out of hand and then tackle it.
I don't know if you are using a ready mix or making up your own but some plants will be more vigorous than others and need to be kept in check to let the weaker ones survive.
If you are growing wildflowers as a food crop for insects as well as a nectar crop then try and move caterpillars to a few of their favourites so you manage to get flowers and also seeds on some for reseeding if necessary in following years. Which brings me nicely to the final point. Do collect seeds as much as possible before the season ends as you will invariably lose some plants each year.

AO
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Thanks, that was a real help! :lol:

I think that I will go to americanmeadows.com and perhaps buy a mix of butterfly wildflowers (since I am making a butterfly wildflower garden).

Maybe you know some good butterfly wildflowers?

AO

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Jess
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I don't know which species of butterfly you have in America so I don't know if any I say will be relevant but here goes. For nectar...cornflowers, scabious, marjoram, thyme, forget-me-nots, mint, clover, birds foot trefoil, dandelion, primrose, honesty and violets.
For food plants you will need as many different types of grasses as poss. In the vicinity of you meadow as in around the edges let brambles grow and plant buddleia, hawthorn,sloe and let some ivy grow. In your meadow plant Alchemilla mollis, stinging nettles, fennel, cardamine, hedge mustard, lucerne, cranesbill geranium, bistort, mullein, plantain and astragulus.

AO
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Thank you very much. You have been very helpful!

AO :lol:

dorothydot
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Uh, check out your weeds before you pull them up. Many wildflowers are what gardeners label as weeds.

My yard currently has Hawkweed, Wood Sorrell, Scarlet Pimpernell, Cat-tails, White and Yellow Clovers, Frost Grapes - and, of course, the ubiquitous Dandelion. Also Three-seeded Mercury, Milk Purslane and some kind of Bush Clover are thriving in my driveway. All are wild, as in I didn't plant them - likely the wind and the birds did.

But they are all really pretty. Be aware, the Scarlet Pimpernell is considered poisonous to eat.

MaineDesigner
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Two quick notes: Some of the commercial "wildflower" mixes contain seeds that are either exotics or native to parts of North America but not native to a given area. Similarly many of the wild weeds are actually exotic species not native to North America. I'm not necessarily a believer in the natives only movement but if your goal is specifically to use native species be cautious.

Greenhaven
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MaineDesigner wrote:Two quick notes: Some of the commercial "wildflower" mixes contain seeds that are either exotics or native to parts of North America but not native to a given area. Similarly many of the wild weeds are actually exotic species not native to North America. I'm not necessarily a believer in the natives only movement but if your goal is specifically to use native species be cautious.
Yesyesyes! I agree, I am not a purist by any means, but a gardener should be aware of problem species in their area before planting, particularly if you are in a rural area.

I highly recommend you research the native plants in your area. There are many advantages, among them are much easier care and habitat support. Local plant species will support local wildlife including insects and birds.

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