Bee Wildflower Seed Mix
Bring bees into your garden with this special bee seed mix. It's made from 100% native British wildflowers, sustainably harvested in the UK. We have designed it to benefit not just a variety of bees, but other pollinators too, as well as to thrive on a range of site conditions. It has no grasses at all, which is why it's expensive but only needs sowing at 2g per square metre.
About this Bee Seed Mix
This mix has a wide range of wildflowers and will give quick initial results while working on a variety of types of site. Bumblebees, honeybees, solitary bees and other pollinators like hoverflies, butterflies and moths all have differing needs, but with this mix we've targeted top flowers for a range of bees in particular. We're only now finding out what sort of diet bees prefer, but our solitary bees and bumblebees seem to have a preference for British species of wildflowers like this. Although we have only one species of honey bee, we have 24 different types of bumblebee and over 240 solitary bees (we're not sure exactly how many!). They're important and charismatic pollinators. Many of these bee species are struggling, and habitat loss is a key issue for them. Gardens can offer them fantastic havens. You can give them a pesticide free oasis with a range of suitable flowers - in fact, urban bees seems to be healthier than their country cousins. We have followed specialist research to put together this wildflower selection together to help them. It will give a colourful display in your garden too. Because it includes some annuals it will give you flowers in the first year of establishment. After that the perennials will take over, providing a colourful display for years to come.
Ideally butterflies and moths also need native grasses, as food plants, which can be found in one of our meadow mixes. All of our seed mixes are great for a huge range of pollinators and other animals.
You'll find full instructions on the back of the packet, but here's a quick summary. You will need to sow this seed onto bare earth - weed beforehand! It won't work if you just throw it on the lawn. Sow in the spring or late summer / autumn, when the soil is moist and the earth is warm. Hand broadcast at 2g / square metre. This is a tiny amount, so add sand or similar if you're nervous you will sow too quickly. Just leave the seed on the surface and lightly roll or tread to ensure good contact with the soil. That's it.
Expect to receive your bee seed mix within five working days of placing an order.
Centaurea cyanus Cornflower
Glebionis segetum Corn Marigold
Papaver rhoeas Corn Poppy
Lotus corniculatus Bird's-foot trefoil
Echium vulgare Viper's Bugloss
Reseda luteola Weld
Centaurea nigra Common Knapweed
Galium verum Lady's Bedstraw
Knautia arvensis Field Scabious
Origanum vulgare Wild Marjoram
Prunella vulgaris Selfheal
Silene dioica Red Campion
Silene flos-cuculi Ragged Robin
Stachys sylvatica Hedge Woundwort
Trifolium pratense Wild Red Clover
Vicia cracca Tufted Vetch
Vicia sepium Bush Vetch
Supplier: All Things Rural
Is My Site Suitable?
If you want to make a meadow you'll need a sunny site with relatively poor soil. Why poor soil? It's not so much that wildflowers don't like fertility, just that weeds like it more! You will have a constant battle on your hands with weeds like Dock and Nettle. If soil fertility has been improved artificially you can reduce it before starting; some people grow a crop of potatoes in the season before they start, others invert the soil so that relatively infertile subsoil is on top and the topsoil is buried.
When Do I Seed?
You can seed in spring or autumn - whenever it's wet and warm. If you seed in the spring make sure your seedlings don't conk out in a dry spell in summer, so keep them watered. If you have heavy ground don't seed too late in the autumn, as the seed will just sit on the ground and rot. If you sow in autumn you'll get some germination that season and some in the spring aftrerwards from species which need a prolonged period of cold to trigger it. These include Yellow Rattle, Rhinanthus minor. Apart from the Rattle please remember that the species in most of our mixes are all perennials and won't flower in their first year of establishment.
What Preparation Do I Need to Do?
There's no short cut here - you really need a seedbed which is clear of weeds and existing grass. Don't cheat! Firstly, your new seed needs to have light and contact with the bare ground. Second, it is much, MUCH more difficult to deal with unwelcome plants once the plants you do want are established. It's best to physically remove all existing vegetation and then rotovate/hoe any seedlings that come up. Then do it again! Rake the seedbed over to get rid of any lumps, detritus and stones.
Ready to sow
How Do I Seed?
The seed mixes we sell typically need sowing at 4g per square metre. This is not a lot! It's a good idea to add something like sand to the seed, so you don't end up running out of seed half way through your project. Don't be tempted to think the seeding rate is too low and seed at a much higher rate - you'll end up looking at a lawn; the wildflowers in the mix need space. Mark out the area you want to seed into squares using canes to help get an even covering. Scatter the seed / sand on the surface of the soil - don't bury it - and tread / roll in to make sure the contact with it is good. I would just scatter by hand unless you have a large area to cover, and do two passes - one North / South and one West / East, if you see what I mean.
How Do I Manage my Meadow Area?
Contrary to popular belief, this is not as time consuming or difficult as managing a lawn. Make sure the seedlings don't dry out. Pull out any weeds you see appearing. Early on, these will be things like thistle, mayweed, dock and nettle. All of these plants have value for wildlife, but they will take over given half the chance! Start mowing or grazing your meadow area from late July. This helps light reach the wildflowers, which typically form leaves close to the ground, and stops weeds from seeding. Don't be tempted to wait and wait before cutting it as the grass will just get thicker and thicker and fall over; it MUST be cut before September. Keep the meadow area cut or grazed from then until say early March. If you're cutting it, remove the cuttings. That's it!
Wildflower Seed Advice & Guides
Which wildflower seeds do I buy?
A simple guide explaining the different kinds of wildflower seed mixes available
How to make a wildflower meadow
An easy to follow introduction to wildflower meadowmaking
How and When to Cut Your Wildflower Meadow
A practical introduction to mowing your meadow!
Starting a wildflower meadow (Video)
Our video guide on how to start your own wildflower meadow