Insect friendly garden
Create and care for wildflower meadows: How to help bees and butterflies
Would you like some sea? A wild sea of flowers in your own garden not only looks magnificent – it primarily attracts desperate bees and hungry butterflies. This is how you properly create a wildflower meadow.
An accurately and closely mowed lush green lawn in the garden or front yard is something fine. However, it is enjoyed almost exclusively by humans. For many insects struggling to survive, the famous “English lawn” with its short stalks resembles a desert. Food: none. Neither butterflies nor wild bees, hoverflies or other flying six-legged creatures will find a single drop of nectar here. Not to mention the evergreen gravel gardens that have recently come into fashion. If you want to help endangered and all other insects and put a colorful bouquet of flowers on the living room table from time to time, you can do that very easily. A wildly blooming flower meadow offers everything that bees, butterflies and their floating friends need to live.
Here we explain how you can quickly and easily create a wildflower meadow and how to properly care for the colorful blossoms.
Creating a wildflower meadow in four steps
- Get seeds: You should be careful when choosing seeds. For what the bee and the butterfly do not know, they do not pollinate. So get regional seeds of native plants. Seeds also offer suitable mixtures on the Internet. One of the best known is the “Mössinger Sommer”.
- Prepare soil: In order for the seed to germinate well and for the meadow to flourish later, the soil should first be thoroughly loosened. Similar to sowing a lawn. If necessary, the turf must be removed beforehand. Because wild flowers tend to dislike humus-rich soil, it should be mixed with some sand and thinned out.
- apply seed: You calculate about five to ten grams of seed per square meter of wildflower meadow (Here’s a flowering mix from “Blühking”). Mixed with a little sand, the seeds can best be distributed over the surface. Then the seed should be worked in carefully with a rake. So that the light grains are not blown away by the wind, the soil must be compacted before the first watering. A small roller is suitable for this. If necessary, the soles of the garden shoes, with which the surface is firmly trampled, do the trick. The seeds must be surrounded by soil.
- Watering the wildflower meadow in the future: Now the seeds need to be germinated. To do this, they need enough water on a regular basis. Since the seeds have different germination times, the sown area should be kept moist for four to six weeks after sowing. Watering must not be forgotten, especially during longer dry periods.
Important: Plant your flower meadow between March and May, but no later than June.
Caring for wildflower meadows: Nothing easier than that
About ten weeks after sowing, the flower meadow (Seed mix for butterflies is available here) are mowed for the first time. It is mainly weeds that are at stake. The flowers, which are also inevitably shortened, sprout again in the days and weeks that follow without any problems. And best of all: the carpet of colorful and wild flowers becomes even denser with mowing. In the first year, the meadow may have to be mowed several times in order to get the weeds under control in the long term. Later, between July and September, it is sufficient to bring the lawn mower to the site.
Tip: Mow in two stages and on the first pass leave the second half for a week. The bees will thank you.
And another component is important when creating a wildflower meadow: patience. It can take several years for the sea of flowers to unfold its full splendour. Especially if the soil is rather nutrient-rich when sowing. This initially benefits lawn grasses. But they gradually remove the nutrients from the soil. If the soil is poor enough, the wildflowers will crowd out and spread out on the lawn.
Important: A one-year-old mixture must be sown a second time the following year. If you want to green your meadow permanently and are less colorful, it is best to use local biennial or perennial mixtures.
Sources: “nabu.de”; “GEO”; “mein-schoener-garten.de”
This article contains so-called affiliate links. Further information are available here.