How to sow wildflower seed?

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DanielCoffey

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How to sow wildflower seed?
« on: August 10, 2018, 19:24 »
I need some advice on how to sow wildflower seed evenly over a large area. I have to cover roughly 600 square meters and the sowing rate is only 3g per square meter.

That is a large area to cover reliably by hand but the sowing rate is way lower than you would see for grass seed (which can be upwards of 25g per square meter).

Are the push-along broadcast spreaders any good at that low dosage or do I need to bulk it with dry sand or similar? Even hand spreading is going to be tough to get even at that sowing rate.

Suggestions? I am looking for the right way to do it, even if it isn't  the cheapest.

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sunshineband

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Re: How to sow wildflower seed?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2018, 08:44 »
A few points to consider is that the seeds need to be in contact with bare earth and that they need to be sown fairly thinly (which you did say)  Treading the area after sowing helps increase contact

The old fashioned hand operated spreader, called a fiddle, with the turning handle is excellent if you walk at an even pace up and down the area. Putting up marking posts at each end of each "walk" help you stay in a straight line and not overlap too much, once you know how wide the "fling" arc is. Sow once lengthways and then again crossways,: helpful to divide up the seed before you start, to ake sure you use the same amount for each section. This is how we sowed our daughter's neighbour's meadow which is 15m x 30m

One mistake we made was to not take out more grass than we did, by heavy raking after scarifying, so she had to thin it down a lot after the first season. Also grew some things in trays for her (cowslips and ragged robin I remember) which were planted out as smallish plants in one particular area rather than dotted everywhere

I think sand is too fine for those tbh, but it does help with actual hand sow as you can see where you have covered as you go.
The push along ones I have no experience of, sorry. I am sure someone will though
« Last Edit: August 11, 2018, 08:48 by sunshineband »
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DanielCoffey

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Re: How to sow wildflower seed?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 11:20 »
Thanks for telling me about the seed fiddle - I had no idea what they were or why they were even called that. There are some great youtube videos showing folks using the bow fiddles for grass or oat seeding.

I think there are smaller plastic ones with a turn handle that do a similar job so I will have a look at these.

The area I will be seeding is totally bare and rotavated. I just need to do one more stone picking pass then rake it level. After seeding I have a roller waiting that I can part-fill with water to adjust the weight. The seed mix is a "flowering lawn mix" that is 80% short grasses and 20% mixed Scottish crawling plants.

It is supposed to be fine to walk on and mow to around 4" as long as it is allowed to flower and set seed in July and August without cutting.

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sunshineband

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Re: How to sow wildflower seed?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 12:11 »
That mix sounds interesting... should look good. You will need to remove the mowings though as it will enrich the ground too much otherwise and the grasses will take over

My daughter' neighbour has two mown paths through her meadow so she can get to her pond, which is a sort of seep pond from the pasture above, and to the chicken run



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