Connecticut Garden Journal: Fall is the time to sow wildflower meadows
Many gardeners love the look and feel of a wildflower meadow. Plus, many of us are trying to reduce the amount of lawn we mow and create places for pollinators to thrive. Wildflower meadows are a perfect solution.
Fall is a great time to sow wildflowers. When planted after a few frosts, that would be mid to end of November in most parts of Connecticut, the soil is cool enough that wildflower seeds stay dormant in the ground. In spring they germinate when the light and moisture conditions are right and you get a jump on your wildflower meadow planting.
First, purchase wildflower mixes adapted to New England. These can be a mix of annuals and biennials for quick color and some perennials for long term meadow plantings. Or you can buy specialty mixes with just natives or pollinator friendly plants.
Prepare the site in a full sun area on well-drained soil. It's best to till, or hand dig a small site, 2 to 3 weeks before planting your wildflower seeds. Remove weeds and perennial grasses that will compete with your wildflowers for water and nutrients. Sow the seed mix with a hand or drop spreader following the rates on the bag. Mix 8 parts sand to one part seed for better spreading. Sow one half of the seed in one direction and the second half in the perpendicular direction to get good coverage.
Finally, walk across your wildflower patch to compress the soil so the seed has good soil contact.