The so-called ‘perfect lawn’ is difficult to achieve and super unhelpful to the wildlife who live in our garden!. But the good news is, letting your garden become a meadow or creating a wildflower patch is actually quite simple. Merely by deciding not to cut your lawn you will eventually end up with your very own meadow but it can take a good few years for a range of flowers to become established.
There is a quicker way to an abundant wildflower garden and autumn is one of the best times of the year to turn your lawn (or at least part of it !) into a colourful, nectar rich, pollinator banquet.
DECIDE HOW MUCH LAWN YOU REALLY NEED
If you have a young family you might feel that a patch of lawn needs to stay but wildflower gardens can be inspiring for young minds. If your lawn is small and it takes longer to get the lawnmower out of the shed than it does to mow it then it might be worth considering if it’s worth bothering with a lawn at all. Small front gardens that are entirely given over to wildflowers can be really beneficial to the whole street and they sometimes inspire neighbours to follow suit. If you’re blessed with a large lawn then you can perhaps save yourself a lot of work of by giving over a sunny patch to nature.
FIRST REMOVE THE GRASS
This is the bit that takes the most effort so set yourself an achievable goal. Cut through the turf with a sharp spade or turf cutter and lift it from the soil. If you have space pile the lifted turf somewhere out of the way to slowly rot down. If you have an especially large lawn perhaps aim to create wildflower patches or islands that can be extended over the years.
DIG OVER THE GROUND
You’ll need to remove any obvious deep rooted weeds, then lightly dig over the ground before firming and raking to create a seedbed. If you have time allow a few weeks for weed seeds to germinate and appear before hoeing them off.
SCATTER YOUR SEED BALLS
This is where the fun really begins. There’s all kinds of wildflower possibilities, so choose your mix and go ahead and scatter. Check out our FAQs page for more information about how to do it. Seed balls are a fab means of growing wildflowers that provides the seeds with their own mini eco system that helps protect them from predators and aids germination.
SIT BACK AND ANTICIPATE THE SPRING
One of the best things about gardening is the anticipation. This is even greater when you’re growing pollinator friendly wildflowers. Seeing sprouts appear and then steadily grow before developing flower heads and finally blooming is magical. If you sow your patch in autumn you’ve the whole of winter to dream about how it’s all going to look by the following summer. Below the ground all kinds of things will be happening. Seeds that require a cold spell to break their dormancy will germinate quicker if sown in autumn than the spring – read more about this here!