The challenge is that the majority of wild flower mixes do best on ‘poor’ soil, as high or even average fertility encourages vigorous growth in the grasses that then crowd out the wildflowers.
So choosing the right mix is therefore essential
- Perennial meadows thrive best on poor soils as it is easier for the wildflowers to compete with the grasses. In some cases it can be worth removing the top layer of soil (top soil) and sowing directly into the cultivated sub-soil
- Annual meadows can do well on better, richer soils and usually consist of cornfield annuals. A good choice where you are converting from ‘ordinary’ paddocks fields and meadows.
The key is to prepare the correct seed bed, and be patient. Establishing a beautiful meadow from seed can take 3-5 years, and in existing grassland it may take longer – perhaps 5 years or more, depending on the existing species. However, a well-managed meadow should go on improving for many years.