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Planting Wildflower.... HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by peahlybros., May 12, 2010.

  1. peahlybros.

    peahlybros. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    So i have this guy who called me the other day asking for me to give him a quote to plant about .3 acres of wildflower in his lawn. I have never done this before so I have been looking into it. Have any of you ever done this before? Should I remove all turf that is there or would rototilling it be enough?... I know that you dont want grass/weeds to start growing where the wildflowers are.

    He was also telling me that he thinks that what he is looking for is to have the area slicerseeded with the wildflower. Is this the right thing to do?:confused:

    Also he told me he bought the seed out of a catalog last year, do you think that it is too old?

    Sorry for the long post, thank you for your help!!
  2. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Wildflower gardens often transcend into weed patches within a year or two. be sure this customer knows what he is in for.

    If the seeds have been in a sealed container without temperature extremes and away from light, they should still be quite viable. You really want to look at the contents to determine what you can expect as far as germination and seed mixture. Often wildflower mixes contain quite a few annual seeds, that they hope will reseed next year and so on. Typically plants do not come true from seed and the germination rate will often be less with succeeding seasons. Some of the so called wildflowers can even be classified as weeds to many homeowners or gardeners, so beware of seed drift when planting and when the wildflowers go to seed.

    As for preparation, the better you prepare, the more successful your seeding will be. You can spray the area with a non-selective herbicide, if permitted, wait a week, till everything in, and add organic matter for a great seedbed. Be aware that any tilling will likely bring to the surface, dormant weed seeds to sprout in your well prepared seedbed. When the wildflowers are seeded and begin to emerge, it will be very difficult to distinguish many of the flower seedling from and sprouting weeds.

    You can also remove the sod and prepare the seedbed with any needed amendments. It always a good idea to have the soil tested to know what you are starting with and the compatibility of your seeds to that type of soil. you will also get any recommendations for the proper type and quantity of amendments.

    Using a slice/seeder is a great way to get good soil contact with all the seeds, but an area that small, if prepared properly, will do as well or better with a good raking after the seed is spread.

    Don't forget irrigation! No matter if some of the plants in the wildflower mix are drought tolerant, all seeds will need consistent moisture & warmth to germinate. Once everything is up and growing, the occasional watering during drought will keep the garden looking good. Just because it a "wildflower" mix, does not mean it's a native mix. Native plants are more adept on conquering the local weather and climate conditions. This allows them to thrive with little or no care, and unfortunately, that's what most folks think they are getting when planting a wildflower mix.

  3. peahlybros.

    peahlybros. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    wow thank you for taking the time to write all of that. I agree that the wildflower is just going to turn into a weedbed, but "the customer is always right".:hammerhead: anyway, thanks again that info is incredibly helpful

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