Hints & Tips
If you’re a fan of wildflowers, you should start preparing the ground now so you’ll be ready to sow them in March.
The most common wildflower mixes are cornfield annuals; poppies, corn cockle, cornflowers and similar varieties, writes Alys Fowler in the Guardian. These prefer sun and fertile ground, and have enough impact to work in even small spaces, containers, tubs and window boxes.
You needn’t stick to native plants, however. Non-native flowers, such as the Pictorial Meadow mixes used around the Olympic Stadium in London, extend the season of interest.
Steer clear of cheap mixes that don’t state the place of origin, particularly near environmentally sensitive areas. Good quality, organic seeds are available from Really Wild Flowers, Emorsgate Seeds and Landlife.
Seeds should be sown into bare ground. First remove any weeds – perennial varieties such as dock, creeping thistle or bindweed will need to be dug out. Leave two weeks before weeding and sowing to take care of any resurgent weeds.
When you’ve raked the bed, mix the seed with sand before sowing so you know where it has landed. To get an even spread, divide into two batches, sowing one lot left to right, the other top to bottom (aim for 1g per square metre). Finally, give the soil another rake.
An annual mix will flower within three months, while a perennial mix tends to come into its own in year two.
If you’re planning to do some gardening during the next month, it looks like the weather may finally be turning in your favour.
Although the forecast for the weekend is unsettled, the first week of March could well herald a change. Colder, drier and brighter conditions are forecast over England and Wales and temperatures could return to normal.
Further spells of wet and windy weather could arrive later in the week, however, particularly in the north and west of the UK.
The Met Office says we could be in for a typical March, with spells of wet and windy weather but decent sunny spells in-between.