Is my garden soil too rich for wildflowers?
Wild flowers generally prefer to grow in low fertility soil.
When soil is rich in nutrients, the flowering plants find it difficult to compete with grasses.
When grasses out-compete flowering plants a wildflower meadow loses much of its charm and biodiversity.
5 clues that your soil is rich in nutrients
- The area has previously been used for farming or gardening
- Stinging nettles and/or docks grow well in your soil
- Grass growing here is lush and green
- Soil is crumbly when moist
- In most cases, the darker the colour, the richer the soil.
How to prepare nutrient-rich soil for wild flowers
If you do have nutrient rich soil and you want to grow a wild flower meadow, all is not lost.
You can either:
- Remove as much topsoil as possible and lay wild flower matting onto the subsoil
- Take away topsoil and replace it with low fertility topsoil
- Lay Meadowmat for Birds and Bees (it contains less grass than Traditional Meadowmat) and manage it carefully for the first 2 or 3 years
- Keep your wildflower meadow mown short for its first year and remove all the clippings every time you mow. You won't have any flowers in that year but you will reduce the soil fertility