questions about mulching and seeding area for wild flowers

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by johnyredd99, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. johnyredd99

    johnyredd99 LawnSite Member
    from gap,pa
    Messages: 163

    I have a customer that would like the bed along his back property line to be less/no maintenance.
    I have gone ahead and cut down all the weeds and the area is now bare dirt.

    We were thinking of putting a layer of mulch down and seeding w/ a wild flower mix.
    Is this possible? Where would I get wild flower seed? Steps to making this happen? and I welcome all suggestions/advice on what you would do.

    Behind beds is a post/rail fence and then over grown horse pastures.


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  2. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    John Deere Landscapes has a few real good mixes, or if you need to do a large area they can special order pretty much any mix you want. One thing with wild flowers is you need to give it a few seasons to really come in. the first season it will come in real thin but after a winter or two it will start to thicken up alot, just mow it down around 6" before the winter and fert 2x a year. I did bout 8k sq ft maybe 5 years ago at my own house. If I hadn't alreay mowed it down I would take a pic for you
  3. johnyredd99

    johnyredd99 LawnSite Member
    from gap,pa
    Messages: 163

    thank you for the reply.
    I understand it as filling in over time. W/ it being your own property did you or would you over seed the first couple years? If so would you recommend spring or fall seeding?

    Also I was going to put a couple inches of mulch down to clean up the apperance while waiting for growth. since the mulch will never be removed would it be best to put down seed before mulching or just go ahead and seed over?
    Going into winter when would be the best time to get the seed down?

    Thanks again
  4. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I first did it in the fall, i put down about 50% of the seed then mulched and used the other 50% ontop. I was dicipointed with the results the fallowing spring so i did another seeding over the top because I was unawhere that it took so long to grow in.

    I know alot of guys who put it down with a hydroseeder and they get alot better and quicker results. You just have to be sure to rince really well so there aren't any seeds left in the tank after
  5. johnyredd99

    johnyredd99 LawnSite Member
    from gap,pa
    Messages: 163

    I am now thinking

    Respray/weed kill entire area again.
    spread 3-4 inches of natures blend mulch
    seed now
    evaluate growth and reseed next fall.

    I sent an email to john deere landscapes asking about thier products but in the mean time I found this site
    I believe this is the look the customer wants. I am going to talk to jd landscapes tomorrow and see if they offer the blend so I can pick up locally
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    Find a source of native wildflower seeds for your region. You will have much better success and you will help to restore some of the native habitat that was lost to development.
  7. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    What is wrong with having a natural fence row?

    It's already there. It provides a natural habit zone. Requires no labor or money. Provides privacy and wind break.

    Also why does everyone always go with a mix of wild flower?

    Why not go with a single favorite wild flower that will create a planted hedge/uniform type look.

    The impact of a fence row that is all one color will stand out.
  8. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I used the NorthEast Wild Floower Mix and the Low Growing wildflower mix. I would think that you being in PA, the mix would work fine for you
  9. metro36

    metro36 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,417

    Your process sounds good. The only thing I would do differently is use compost instead of mulch. A good compost will help retain moisture and also provide some nutrients to help the seeds germinate better. I have always had good results using compost when seeding lawns, planting bulbs, and planting annuals.
  10. johnyredd99

    johnyredd99 LawnSite Member
    from gap,pa
    Messages: 163

    didnt even think of compost. that is a much better idea.

    as to leaving just the fence. customer does not want that. He is trying to keep the eyes of his company in his yard. the distraction of flowers, he hopes, will make up for the slums that own the farm behind him. Neighbors on both sides have the same problem too. Seems farmer has chosen that area to keep his collection of dogs, broken equipment, and brush pile.

    at one point he had the previous companies mulching the area. I came about the account threw word of mouth seems the last company was not into doing more then cutting grass. Well seems last company didnt really even show up consistantly to do that.
    I would prefer mulching the area
    flowers will be low maintenance but atleast I will be able to make some money
    compaired to leaving it the way it is as no maintenance.

    I did discuse w/ client and we are going to go w/ the low grow mix
    Thanks for all the input

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