When homeowners choose which plants to maintain outside their house, trees and shrubs usually receive first consideration. Next in importance is likely to be the grass covering the lawn. Even after the yard is neatly manicured, homeowners sometimes sense the need for flowers in strategic spots. In addition to familiar flowers, homeowners can add unique shapes of natural color by growing wildflowers in their yard.
Wildflowers are flower species that grow naturally without cultivation. The seeds of wildflowers are harvested and sold in a manner similar to that of domestic flowers. As with other plants, different varieties of wildflowers vary in their need for water and direct sunlight. Once you have chosen a yard area on which to add wildflowers, you are ready to order seeds for planting.
Last spring freeze date
Flower seeds can be safely planted after the last freezing temperatures of spring. A department of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publishes a useful online map that contains the last spring freeze dates. Many seed providers can take your order early and ship the seeds in accordance with your local last-freeze date.
As with domesticated flowers, some wildflowers have a life span of only one year. Annual wildflowers grow quickly and produce colorful blooms before dropping their seeds and dying. Perennial wildflowers generally do not bloom during their first summer. However, perennial flowers use their established root system to produce blooms in the subsequent flowering seasons. There are also a few biennial wildflowers that bloom only in their second year and then die.
You don't have to choose between the different wildflower life spans. Combination seed packets are available to provide the preferable qualities of both annuals and perennials. Although wildflowers can be grown in a large pot, most people are likely to grow them on a prepared patch of land.
Before planting your seeds, the soil should be dug up with a shovel or a garden tiller. After loosening the topsoil, remove any larger rocks or roots that may have surfaced. If necessary, rake the prepared ground to obtain a fairly smooth appearance. The flower seeds can then be strewn across the freshly prepared ground.
There is one last planting step to ensure that each seed makes solid contact with the soil. Using your hand or any suitable tool, lightly press the small seeds against the loose soil. After spraying the entire planted area with a mist of water, the seeds will be positioned for germination.
Whether by rainfall or manual watering, the seedbed should be kept moist until the wildflowers are able to survive on their own. Once they are established, wildflowers usually require no further maintenance. If you're interested in increasing the beauty of your yard, pick up some wild flower seed packets to get started.