I love to see wildflowers growing side by side with a manicured lawn. There’s something about the change in height, in texture, in colour and in movement that just fascinates me.
Here’s how to grow wildflowers in your lawn.
There are 4 possible ways of growing wildflowers in your lawn
- Stop mowing and see what wildflowers appear naturally
- Over-seed an area with wildflower seeds
- Introduce plug plants
- Replace some of the lawn with wildflower turf
This article looks at the pros and cons of each method in turn.
Stop mowing and see what wildflowers appear naturally
It’s surprising how many different plant species can creep into a lawn, especially when the owner is not a fan of chemical weedkillers.
If you’d like to see a bit more texture and colour in your lawn, it’s very easy just to designate a “no-mow” zone and see what happens.
Wildflowers don’t need or want much fertiliser, so stop feeding this part of the lawn.
Mother Nature hates a monoculture and over time you’ll see more and more plant species appear in your longer lawn. Come the autumn, you could plant some spring flowering bulbs in part of the lawn.
Even if you don’t get many flowers in the first year, long grass has a beautiful texture and brings movement to a garden. Wildlife too will be thankful. Meadow Brown butterflies depend on long grass for breeding grounds and there are a lot of creatures who will be grateful for the cool shade of the longer grass.
Over-seed an area with wildflower seeds
I do like annual wild flowers. Cornflowers, poppies, corn marigolds and the like. These flowers like to grow in disturbed soil. Being annuals they will flower in their first summer, set seed and then die.
To grow annual wild flowers in your lawn, use a spade to lift an area of turf in spring time. Dig over the area, rake it to a fine tilth and sprinkle wild flower seeds on top. No need to cover the seed. These beauties need light to stimulate germination. Use a watering can with a rose to moisten the soil and then keep it damp until the baby plants are growing strongly.
Now all you have to do is wait for summer and an eruption of vibrant colour. We’ve mentioned cornflowers and poppies. Why not bring in some non-natives for extra interest? Cosmos is a lovely flower for attracting butterflies. Sunflowers are popular with seed-eating birds and you can get some low growing varieties if you don’t like giant plants.
Come the autumn, you can pull up the spent flowers and replace them with turf. If you like playing with plants, pick off the seed-heads and store the seed in paper bags overwinter so you can repeat the exercise next year.
Introduce plug plants
Plug plants are relatively inexpensive. You can buy online and lots of them for your money. Use a bulb planter to remove small circles of turf and then pop a plug plant in the middle of each circle. Keep them watered until they establish.
Replace some of the lawn with wildflower turf
If you want a lot of wildflowers and you want them fast, wildflower turf is a brilliant solution. It’s easy to install and even easier to care for once it’s established. This video shows wildflower turf being installed into a garden.
This video shows Meadowmat Wildflower Turf being installed into a lawn.