Creating an urban wildflower meadow in parks and gardens has become increasingly popular recently, as grounds teams and gardeners consider ways to encourage wildlife such as birds and bees, and help them thrive even in the most densely built-up areas of our cities.
As part of a new trial, farmers are also experimenting by planting wildflowers within their crop fields, to boost the numbers of natural predators of pests, thus helping to cut down on the need to use harmful pesticides. This trial, run by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, is set to be monitored for five years to see if it is a real practical solution in reducing the use of pesticides.
So, how can you create a wildflower meadow in a green public space?
Choose an area to create a wildflower patch. Depending on the size of the space, this could be as small as 1 metre x 1 metre, or a large area underneath woodland trees or close to a hedging.
If there is an established lawn, you can remove this by using a sod cutter. Billy Goat’s 18” Hydro Sod Cutter makes short work of the job, leaving you with a flat, cleared area in no time.
Once the area is clear, use an overseeder to sow wildflower seeds. Our OS550 Push Overseeder lets you select the drop rate for the seeds, taking out all the guesswork. It also has an optional power rake accessory, giving you two functions in one machine.
If you want to sow wildflower seeds in amongst already established grass, which gives a great natural appearance, then use the power rake mentioned above to rake over the lawn, removing thatch and dead matter as you go. This will help to create some space for the seeds to reach the soil, giving them a better chance of germination than if you simply scattered onto the lawn without raking.
Wildflower seeds sown in autumn should start to appear the following spring.