What is the best soil for growing wildflowers?

3 min read

What is the best soil for growing wildflowers –  It is easy to find yourself dreaming of spring during the long, cold, blustery days at the start of the year.

January and February are such grey and dreary months but they can be the ideal time to start planning your gardening calendar. Creating a beautiful and colourful wildflower meadow could be a great way to attract all manner of wildlife to your garden.


wildflower lawn

A colourful wildflower patch like this is great for attracting wildlife.

The best time to plant wildflower seeds is Autumn and Spring. The Royal Horticultural Society, no less believes planting during March and April is better. In the UK the heavy rain of winter can cause water logging and rot new seeds.

Where can I grow wildflowers?

What are the best types of soil for growing wildflowers and why do these contribute to a successful and thriving wildflower garden?

Good drainage is vital:

Wildflowers will suffer in waterlogged ground. But good drainage systems made from natural stone boulders or rockeries or even installed drainage systems and raised flowerbeds can mitigate the worse effects.

Drainage is good for wildflowers. It allows nutrients like nitrogen to escape, making the soil less fertile and protecting new seedlings from rotting.

Of course, there are some types of wildflowers like bog plants that thrive on water logged soils and even prefer them.

Low nutrient soil is important:

Soils that are nutrient rich, like those used in farming, may be perfect for general planting around your garden but can cause major problems for wildflowers.

Phosphorus-heavy soil can be damaging to wildflowers as it encourages the fast growing plants like grasses and nettles, which compete with the slow growing wildflowers and simply overwhelm them.


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It can be difficult to remove nutrients from existing soil – it’s like removing sugar from your tea or taking the salt out of your soup.  Phosphorus is much harder to remove from soil than nitrogen as it does not simply wash away with drainage.

Nutrient levels can be dropped over time by  continuously cutting and removing vegetation. But for the very best results when establishing wildflowers, you having to take the top layer of soil off before you attempt to plant wildflower seeds. Either plant into the subsoil, or import some low-nutrient soil from a reliable source.

With good management, most types of wildflowers can work well in a soil with a neutral level of pH 7 and only those of a specialist nature do not cope well with a higher or lower pH level.

Where can I find low nutrient soil?

Low nutrient soil is not easy to come by these days.  Most of the land in the UK has either been farmed or gardened in it’s time and has probably been well fed to produce high yielding crops.

Topsoil from a building site may be higher in nutrients than it looks – it may also contain all sorts of unwanted debris.

We have created a low nutrient soil by blending sand with a little bit of loam to give good drainage, a nice workable consistency and just the right levels of nitrogen for wild flowers to thrive in.

It’s slightly more costly than garden soil but it will ensure that you get the results you want.  Use Meadowmat Low Nutrient Topsoil to fill raised beds for wildflowers or to replace your garden soil.

(When I was developing my veg garden, I dug out my garden soil, used that to fill raised beds for vegetable growing and then filled the hole up with low nutrient soil so that I could grow wildflowers to encourage bees to visit the garden)

More about Meadowmat Low Nutrient Topsoil

Click here for prices and availability on Low Nutrient Topsoil 

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