3075 Lane 51 1/2

Manderson, WY 82432

800-967-1798

307-568-3361

wrsales@windriverseed.com

 

 

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Wildflower Maintenance Tips

to Keep Your Success Growing
 

Maintenance is an essential ingredient in the creation of a successful wildflower planting. The key to an effective, long-term wilt/flower maintenance program is evaluation and timely follow-up. The site should be evaluated periodically during the growing season to determine if expectations are being met. Some conditions must be dealt with promptly while others may be corrected at a later time. Here are five areas of maintenance that require consideration:

  • reseeding

  • weed control

  • supplemental watering

  • fertilization

  • Fall mowing and cleanup

RESEEDING: Many people prefer the vibrant, long-lasting colors that are provided by annuals. In most parts of North America, there is just one way to create annual color year after year - by reseeding. Exceptions are the Pacific Coast and the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico, where annuals readily reseed on their own. Annuals can be reseeded in the spring or fall. Spring reseeding should be completed as soon as the ground is workable to take advantage of spring moisture. The planted area must be kept consistently moist for four to six weeks to ensure good germination. In cold climates, fall seeding should be quite late so germination does not occur until the following spring. In mild climates, planting annuals in the fall will ensure an early display in the spring. Important: follow our recommendations for appropriate planting rates because reseeding too heavily may cause crowding and poor growth. If emphasizing perennials is your goal, inspect the planted area and roughly note the number and kinds of perennials growing there. Bare areas, if any, can be over seeded with the original planting mix or with a custom mix. Establishing a solid cover of perennials is one of the best ways to control weeds.

When reseeding, some scarification of the soil surface may be necessary to ensure good seed to soil contact. A mixture of spring, summer, and fall-blooming perennial wildflowers will produce a changing display of color throughout the growing season.

WEED CONTROL: A monthly program of weed control is essential to ensure a satisfactory display of wildflowers year after year. Weeds should be eliminated as soon as they can be recognized, either by pulling, spot-spraying with a general herbicide, or selective cutting with a string trimmer.

SUPPLEMENTAL WATER: Water is a critical factor in wildflower maintenance. During the hot summer season, up to one-half inch of moisture per week may be required to keep wildflowers at their peak.

FERTILIZATION: Fertilization may be beneficial in a long-term maintenance program, particularly if the soil is sandy or very poor in nutrients. If there is a reason to suspect a problem with soil fertility, we recommend a soil test and/or plant tissue analysis. These tests will enable you to determine which specific fertilizer may be appropriate for your needs.

FALL MOWING AND CLEANUP: If a neat appearance is desired after the wildflowers have gone to seed, mow them to a height of four to six inches. To prepare the area for fall seeding, it may be necessary to remove any excessive plant material or mulch that could prevent good seed-soil contact.

We cannot stress too strongly the importance of a regular wildflower maintenance program, which will be dictated by the specific goals of the project. You will be rewarded with a wildflower planting that meets or exceeds expectations and provides beautiful display year after year.

 

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