These wildflower seed planting instructions will help you whether you are planting wildflowers in a meadow or in a small part of your yard. Fill in the worksheet below to determine how much wildflower seed you need. Prepare your soil to give the wildflower seeds the best chance to grow strong and healthy. Then use the Split and Sand Method to scatter your wildflower seeds. Growing wildflowers on your property will add beauty, easy maintenance, and possibly pollen for honeybees (depending on the varieties that you plant).
Calculating Seed Planting Rates
The first step in calculating the correct wildflower seed planting rate is to determine the amount of space you want to cover. The best method for measuring your planting site is to find the square footage. You can calculate the square footage of a rectangle or square area by multiplying the length times the width. If you have a round area, you will multiply 3.14 times the radius (half the length of the circle) squared. That’s a lot of math, but don’t be intimidated. You can get a Wildflower Seed Planting Rate – Calculator Worksheet in my free resource library.
The next step is to determine the type of coverage that you want for your wildflower display. I buy my seeds from American Meadows so I use their amazing guides. According to their site, you should use the following guidelines for planting large areas of 1/2 acre or more.
|Type of Coverage||1 Pound of Seed Covers:|
|Lush (full coverage)||1,500 sq. ft.|
|Average (good coverage)||2,000 sq. ft.|
|Meadow (scattered coverage)||4,000 sq. ft.|
1 acre = 43,000 square feet
Tools To Measure Your Planting Site
- For an area that is less than 25 feet in length, a standard measuring tape will work to give you the exact measurement.
- You could also measure the length of your stride and walk the area to get an estimate of the amount of square footage you will need to cover.
- If you have a large area like mine you can use Google Maps to figure the square footage.
Using Google Maps To Measure Your Land
I love this tool and have used it for many projects. It may not be exact, but will get you close to the square footage of
- Open Google Maps.
- Enter your address in the search bar.
- Change to satellite view by clicking the box in the bottom left.
- Zoom into your property so that you can see the entire planting area on your screen.
- Right click your mouse on one corner of your desired planting area.
- Click Measure Distance at the bottom of the box that pops up.
- Left click your mouse on each corner of your desired planting area.
- Move the dots if you need to make any adjustments. Make sure that you close the area by overlapping the last two dots.
- The box at the bottom will give the square footage of the area.
Preparing Your Land For Planting
The first question that I had when I got to this step was, “can you just throw wildflower seeds onto the ground.” The answer that I got was, “no.” The more time you spend preparing your planting site, the more success you will have growing wildflowers.
By removing grass and weeds you will be removing the competition with your wildflower seeds, giving them the best chance to grow and flourish. Depending on the size of your planting site you will want to either till up the soil with motorized equipment or hand tools.
My initial plan was to plant our wildflowers in the fall. You can read more about planting wildflowers here. Our land had never been farmed or touched other than brush hogging every year so we weren’t excited about tilling it. We opted to pay for a neighbor to use his disc plow to break up the soil. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get to the job until late winter. So we are planting our wildflowers in the spring instead.
We didn’t want to completely break up every inch of the soil because our land is slanted and we didn’t want to cause an erosion problem. Hopefully, there is enough exposed dirt to create a good growing environment for the wildflower seeds.
Scattering the Wildflower Seeds
After you have prepared your planting site you will want to choose the right conditions to plant your seeds. If you are planting in the spring you will need to make sure that the ground temperature is above 55 degrees and that you are past the threat of frost. If you are planting in the fall you will need to make sure that your ground temperature is below 55 degrees so that your seeds don’t germinate immediately. You can check your ground temperature here. Choose a day that isn’t windy to scatter your seeds so that they end up where you want them and not in your neighbor’s yard.
Split and Sand Method For Scattering Seeds
- Separate seeds into 2 equal amounts.
- Put 1 part seed to 8 parts dry sand into a bucket.
- Put mixture of seed and sand into a spreader.
- Spread your mixture in a North-South direction.
- Repeat steps 1-4 with the other half of your seeds.
- Spread your mixture in an East-West direction.
- Compress your seeds to anchor them to the soil.
- Water. Keep your seeds moist for 4-6 weeks.
When Will You See Blooms?
You can expect to see some growth within 1-3 weeks after planting. Your annual wildflowers will begin to bloom within 6-12 weeks depending on the variety. If you planted a mix of annuals and perennials, the perennials will require a full year of growth before they bloom.
If you don’t see any growth within 21 days of planting you should call the company that you purchased your seeds from. Keep track of the date that you planted your seeds and any other important information so that the company can help you determine what went wrong. You can download my Wildflower Planting Log Sheet from the resource library.
I hope that these wildflower seed planting instructions make it easy to create your own wildflower oasis. I will be sharing pictures as my wildflowers grow and I would love to see yours too. So share your pictures in the comments below.