What is a wildflower meadow?

Unlike beds and borders, a meadow is an area of permanent grass where, with some care and attention, wildflowers are allowed to blossom and bloom. This might be across a large paddock or green, amongst trees or other shaded areas, along banksides, or even in a small dedicated section of your garden. Wildflower meadows are a stunning addition to any outside space.

Why are wildflower meadows important?

Not only are wildflower meadows a beautiful feature, but they are also incredibly important for wildlife. They provide food for bees, butterflies and other pollinators, all working hard to keep our ecosystem thriving. Did you know, just a ¼ of an acre can support as many as 24,000 bees!

Can you turn a lawn into a wildflower meadow?

Yes. It is possible to turn any area into a wildflower meadow. Remember that grasses and common non-grass species (such as dandelions) tend to be more dominant than wildflowers. It is important to ensure the area is clear of these dominant species before installing your wildflower meadow, so as to avoid disappointment further down the line.

Do I need to improve the soil, or add quality topsoil?

The short answer is, no. Unless you need to change the level of the area, wildflowers don't need special soil, and can often thrive in poorer quality soil.

How do I prepare the ground?

First, clear the area of existing grass and weeds either with a turf cutter, digging the ground over or using a weed killer to achieve a clear seed bed. 

Next, make sure the area is clear of any larger stones and roots.

Dig the area over to break up any larger clods of soil and loosen compaction. This will allow the wildflowers access to moisture and nutrients. Depending on the type of soil, you may be able to do this with a garden fork. For larger areas and/or more heavily compacted soil, a rotovator may be the better option.

Then, rake the area to create an even surface and leave a fine tilth. (Tilth is a fine layer on top of the soil that looks a bit like breadcrumbs).

Unlike lawn turf, wildflower is much more forgiving when it comes to bumps and imperfections so, you don't need to prepare the ground to quite the same extent.

You then have the option of laying Wildflower Turf®, sowing seeds or using MeadowScape Pro™.

How can I create a Wildflower Meadow?

  • The quickest, easiest option is to lay Wildflower Turf® – ready prepared slabs of turf that give you a beautiful meadow as it establishes and grows.
  • The least expensive option is to sow a wildflower meadow seed mix (making sure the ground is completely clear of weeds first, the area is properly prepared, the seeds are sown at the right time (early spring or late summer/early autumn) and the ground is kept moist) though this can be quite hard work and results aren’t always guaranteed. For example, a perennial meadow can take 3-5 years to establish.
  • For a stunning Wildflower Meadow without the hard work of preparing, seeding and reseeding but with the same fantastic results as Wildflower Turf® then the solution is MeadowScape Pro™.

A new product at Sherborne Turf, made by the UK’s most prominent Wildflower Meadow experts Wildflower Turf, MeadowScape Pro™ is an enhanced growing medium combined with the perfect amount of wildflower seed for professional wildflower establishment.

Features and benefits include:

  • Only 2/3 of the cost of Wildflower Turf – a great cost saving alternative
  • Extensively tested weed free, peat free, growing medium with quick, robust seedling growth
  • Requires significantly less ground preparation, saving time and money

Can you plant too many wildflower seeds?

Planting more than the recommended amount of seed per square metre can lead to poor results. Too many seeds can lead to greater competition between seedlings and result in lower diversity. With both Wildflower Turf® and MeadowScape Pro™, this is avoided by applying the exact amount of seed needed for the area.

When should I start a wildflower meadow?

The best times to start a wildflower meadow are in autumn and spring. March or September are excellent times to start as the ground should be easier to prepare and the (hopefully) warmer weather should encourage growth.

How long does a wildflower meadow take to grow?

From sowing to blooming it can take anywhere between 54-81 days for the meadow to grow. With MeadowScape Pro™ you should start to be able to enjoy flowers from about week 15 with different flowers blooming at different points over the summer. For example: if you install your meadow at the start of March, the first blooms should appear by the end of June which will then evolve and continue throughout the summer.

How long do wildflower meadows last?

Most meadows should last throughout the summer, with different flowers blooming at different times. The plants then die off once they’ve set seed – which usually happens by September or October. Do not mow your meadow until this has happened.

Do wildflowers grow back every year?

By not mowing your meadow until after it has dropped its seed, both native annual and perennial species will grow back each year.