|Forum Home > General Gardening Discussion > Sowing - a Poppy Field / Wildflower Meadows for 2014|
I've had a few enquiries last week about sowing meadows- and another this afternoon.
Many people have been moved to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War next year by sowing small patches of red field poppies or flanders poppies. It's a quiet, dignified memorial which will appropriately and meaningfully commemorate the fragility of human life.
Photo - Lewisham Gardens
When you are buying seed- try to buy native Brisith seed- ask your supplier about its provenance. Funding- some local groups have had success when asking local companies to sponsor seeds.
You can of course sow only poppies, but another possibility is selecting a general wildflower meadow mix and then adding 50-100gm of papaver rhoeas seeds. This will ensure a long flowering, very pretty mix dominated by by poppies.
Field Poppies- Pappaver rhoeas- Photo - Lewisham Gardens
When to sow:
Poppies sown now will flower in the early summer.
You can also scatter seeds in Spring 2014 for flowering later in the summer.
Even better, do both and this will extend your flowering period through to the autumn.
- Strip the turf- get rid of weeds. They grow quickly and strongly and will out compete your wildflowers for space.
NOTE: Wildfllowers have adapted to do best in poor quality soil because they will have little competition
If stripping the soil is not a possibility (not everyone likes to see great swathes of bare grownd over the winter) you can mow your grass- rough it up severely with a metal rake, adn then sow some yellow rattle seed.
Yellow rattle is a semi-parasitic species which attaches itself to grass and will reduce and restrict it's vitality and growth, giving the wildflowers time to establish.
Yellow Rattle Photo by sannse
Photos: Richard Shaw.
As proved in the trenches across France and Belgium, poppies prefer disturbed/ loosened ground.
- Lightly dig over the ground
- Rake the soil flat.
- Mix the seed with LOTS of sand- so you can see where the seed has been scattered.
- Rake the soil gently after scattering.
- Lightly tread over the site.
This is a really helpful video- by the Habitat Aid team where we sourced much of the seed for the St Munghos Meadow.
Video- How to sow a Wildflower meadow
Poppy and Wild Flower Seed Suppliers:
To buy small amounts of seed- for a small patch.
For larger Meadow areas - 1kg