All Perennial Wildflower Mix ia a blend of 22 perennials suitable for regions throughout the United States, reaching a height of 5 feet or more. Contains: Blue Flax, Blanketflower, Perennial Lupine, Russell Lupine, Purple Coneflower, Lance-leaved Coreopsis, Shasta Daisy, and more. Approximate seed count 391,477 per pound.
Choosing a Wildflower Mix
A wildflower mix should be selected that will give the widest possible range of colors and periods of bloom throughout the season. The mixture should contain both annuals and perennials. Annuals are important to establish cover quickly and to provide color the first year. Some annuals and biennials may reseed and be a part of the mix in subsequent years. Perennials will flower from the second year onward. Therefore the appearance of the planting will change after the first year as the perennials take over. It may be desirable to reseed some annuals each year to provide more color in the planting.
When choosing a mixture care should be taken to select plants that are adapted to your region of the country. Most mixtures require partial to full sun, but some are better suited for a shaded environment and should be chosen for these areas. Plant height can vary from creeping to 5 feet, so care should be taken to select plants that will complement each other.
Site Selection and Preparation
Choose a site with an adequate soil and drainage to provide a favorable growing environment. If nothing will grow in the area now, wildflowers won’t either. There are some important questions that need to be addressed regarding the selected site. Is adequate sunlight available for the mixture chosen? Is supplemental water available to keep the planting moist during germination and provide watering during extended dry periods? What weed seeds are present in the soil? Will weeds spread to your area from adjacent sites? Assessment of these factors will enable you to make a realistic choice of a site where wildflowers will prosper.
Once a suitable site has been chosen, measures need to be taken to remove weeds. Treat perennial weeds with a herbicide such as Roundup, and wait 5 days before tilling. Pull remaining weeds and remove all unwanted vegetation. Add lime, fertilizer, compost, and any other desired soil amendments at this time and mix with the soil. Level the area and firm the soil.
The best time to plant a wildflower mixture is spring and early summer when temperatures are moderate and rainfall is normally abundant. If planting in the fall, allow for a 10-12 week growing period before the plants go dormant. Late fall plantings can be effective when done late enough to assure that seeds will not germinate until spring. Late spring and summer seedings must be mulched and watered regularly to assure that germinating plants do not dry out.
Planting rates can vary from 4-15 pounds per acre depending on the mixture and soil conditions. Normally on a smaller scale 4-6 ounces per 1000 square feet, or 1/2 ounce per 100 square feet, is sufficient. Avoid using more than the recommended rates since poor perennial establishment may result. Spread the seed by hand or use a cyclone spreader to broadcast the seed evenly. Mixing 1-2 parts clean dry sand to 1 part seed adds volume and aids in even distribution. After seeding, lightly rake or drag the area to incorporate the seed into the top 1/4 inch of soil. Then firm the soil with a cultipacker or by other means. Cover the soil with a weed free hay or straw mulch.
Care and Maintenance
Care and maintenance can be divided into 5 areas that need to be addressed.
If vibrant, long-lasting colors are desired then reseeding annuals into the mix yearly will be required. This should be done early in the spring. Bare spots should also be seeded at this time.
Weeds should be eliminated as soon as they can be recognized, either by pulling, spot spraying, or with a string trimmer. Weed control is essential for the appearance and survival of the planting.
During the hot summer season, up to 1/2 inch of supplemental water may be required to keep wildflowers at their peak.
If a soil test with fertilizing recommendations is not available, then it is normally beneficial to add a low nitrogen fertilizer regularly such as 5-10-10. Apply 10-20 pounds per 1000 sq. ft. 3 times per year. Addition of clippings and compost can also be beneficial.
If a neat appearance is desired after the wildflowers have gone to seed, mow them to a height of 4-6 inches. Leave the clippings if possible as this is a reservoir of viable seeds.