Whatever size your outdoor space is, there’s always room for wildflowers. Set aside an area of lawn, part of a border, or even a large container to support insects, pollinators, and the birds and small mammals that feed on them.
Here are just a few ways you can do this:
Let it grow
The easiest way to create a mini meadow is to leave an area of lawn to grow.
As well as saving you time mowing, this will allow a more diverse range of species to take hold than with regular mowing. Simply cutting an edge around the patch will keep it looking tidy and in check.
Worried this is too much? Try it for one month. Plantlife’s ‘No Mow May campaign ask us all to lock-up our mowers for the month of May.
Learn more about ‘No Mow May’ here.
Sow your own
You don’t have to be adventurous to sow your own. Most garden centres have various different seed mixes for all different soil types. If you are unsure about your soil, use a pH testing kit from your local garden centre.
To create your own mini meadow, in either spring or early autumn, find or create a bare patch of earth and:
- Remove any weeds and stones, and rake level
- Sow seed as evenly as possible – maybe create a grid or mix the seed with sand to see where you have sown
- Gently pat the ground down with the back of the rake
- Water thoroughly – and if it does not rain much, rewater periodically.
No space for a mini meadow patch? Why not sow your seeds in pots.
Turf your own
If you want a more instant result, and don’t mind spending a little more, then you can even get ready-grown wildflower turf. There are lots of choices online for home delivery, but try to pick one with native species and where they have sourced the seed from the UK. Fellow Plantlife member Wildflower Turf Ltd have some great native mixes in their range that are available from suppliers all over the country.
Photo Credit: WildFlower Turf LTD
Year 1: Regular mowing will give the best results. Cut it to 5-7cm whenever the lawn reaches 20cm. Remember to remove any strong weeds like nettles and thistles.
Year 2 onwards: After year 1 you just need to mow your mini meadow a couple of times a year, usually just after flowering in late summer and again in early autumn. Leaving the trimmings on the ground after cutting will ensure it self-seeds. Rake this off a couple of days after cutting.
If you are using widlflower turf, once it has established you just need to skip to Year 2 above.
Gardening for wildlife
For more ideas on how to make your garden a space for you and nature to enjoy, take a look at our Gardening for Wildlife Guide. It includes a wealth of information to get you started in your journey to creating a wildlife friendly garden.