This week I've been researching the best ways to create a wildflower meadow in a small urban garden.
We all know the biodiversity crisis that we are facing and a wildflower area in your garden, however small, will really help improve this and attract wildlife, particularly pollinators. Wildflower meadows are also more aesthetically pleasing than a traditional lawn, drought tolerant and very low maintenance.
So you can opt to create a wildflower meadow from seed which is cheaper but this is a not as reliable as wildflower turf. With turf the plants have already germinated so it gives instant coverage, is less likely to be eaten by birds and can be installed at any time of year, providing the ground is not frozen
So how do you prepare for, install and maintain wildflower turf?
Remove existing vegetation. Dig over or rotovate the soil at least 100mm deep and rake to a fine tilth, removing large stones, roots or clods of earth. Ensure that the soil is free draining and not compacted.
Water the soil to saturation point 48hrs before layng.
When laying the turf it is vital that the roots of the plants are in contact with the soil. There's no need to apply fertiliser and the root mat will act as a weed surpressant.
4. Wildflower turf recommends laying the turf as per the guides above. Ensure that all joints are butted up correctly to prevent weeds germinating between the turfs. Don't overlap the edges. The turfs can be cut easily to fill in any gaps with offcuts.
5. Once laid water the turf well for the first week and then once a week for 2/3 weeks and don't let the turf dry out for the 1st season.
6. In the Autumn cut plants down to 25-50mm with a strimmer and remove all the cut material.
Even if you haven't got a large garden just try it out in a small part of your garden, maybe on the outer edges of your existing lawn.