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In the past few years I’ve read about and have seen more interest in wildflowers, so I figure it’s about time I jump in and add my two cents.
I have watched in despair as some of my friends have created a wildflower bed in their yards, and have ended up with the biggest, ugliest patch of weeds I have ever seen. Why did they get weeds instead of wildflowers?
One, they were armed with a lack of good information, and two, they were led to believe that planting a beautiful bed of wildflowers is so easy that a child could do it. Actually, a child could do it, and with great success. But only if that child were extremely lucky, or had a basic understanding of exactly how to plant a bed of wildflowers and achieve incredible success.
In the next few minutes I intend to arm you with enough good information so you can successfully plant a beautiful bed of wildflowers, and have your neighbors hanging over the fence asking you how ya did it.
First of all, you’ve got to understand what kind of a neighborhood wildflowers like to live in. They tend to prefer wide open spaces with at least 8 hours of sunshine each day. It’s true, they are sun worshipers. They also like the soil to be rich in nutrients, and well drained. They don’t like hard packed soil, and they don’t like to get their sneakers wet, only for short periods of time.
If you have an area that tends to be wet, wildflowers are not the answer.
Wildflowers can be used for weed control, and with a great deal of success. But you have to give the wildflowers a running start, or the weeds will keep the area “Wildflower Free”. Weeds and wildflowers are both sun worshipers, so whoever reaches the top first wins. Neither will grow well without adequate sunlight. If you use this to your advantage you can have a beautiful bed of wildflowers that requires little maintenance.
The secret is proper bed preparation. You must create a bed that is as weed free as possible. You can do this by removing all the vegetation from the area you intend to plant in, and then prepare the soil for planting by tilling or raking to a depth of just one inch or less. Do not disturb the soil any deeper than that, or you will just disturb dormant weed seeds that are just waiting to be brought back to the surface so they can grow. You should consider spraying the existing vegetation with Roundup before you remove it. This will kill all the roots that might still be in the soil.
Keep in mind that you need to spray the weeds or grass with Roundup at least three days before you disturb them. If you feel that the area you have chosen has a significant amount of weed seed near the surface, you might consider letting the soil sit for about six days after you work it, then work it again. Do this over and over, but don’t work the soil more than one inch deep. The longer you continue this process the more apt you are to get the bed as weed free as possible.
Most weed seeds germinate rather quickly, so when you bring them to the surface through your cultivation efforts, you are giving them a chance to germinate. But then when you work the soil again in six days, you will actually interrupt the germination process and the seed will be spent. The longer you continue the process, the fewer viable weed seeds you will have to contend with. Of course additional seeds are blowing in all the time, so it’s unrealistic to think that you can create a planting bed that is free of weed seed. Best THC pods