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"Demystifying Meadows: What You Need to Know to Create a Meadow. Part 1"

Updated: Mar 21




Part 1, The annual meadow.

There are many types of meadow but in gardening terms there are two main categories:

  • The annual meadow

  • The perennial meadow


These are the main reasons to sow a meadow:

  • To provide a place for insects to breed

  • To provide a place for insects to feed on pollen and nectar

  • To provide insects protection while overwintering

  • To provide larval food plants

  • They look beautiful!

  • You can enjoy the mental health benefits of watching the buzz of the bees and the fluttering of butterflies


Wildlife benefits that the annual meadow provides:

  • Fantastic source of nectar for pollinators

  • It looks great and can have a long season of interest


They don't provide:

  • A place for insects to breed

  • Much cover for over wintering insects

  • Larval food plants


How is an annual meadow created?:

  • Seed is usually a mixture of native and non native plants to give the longest flowering time possible, starting with early varieties and finishing later ones.

  • A bed is prepared

  • Sown from seed in spring when the soil starts to warm up. Usually from the end of March in the south of the U.K.

  • The annual meadow is sown again from seed every year in spring.


1, Create your annual meadow bed. You can use the no dig method or traditional digging over the bed with a fork then rake to a fine tilth.



You're looking for the consistency of apple crumble topping! from this....




To this... (or even finer. This is as fine as I could get on this very wet day!)......



2,Then broadcast your seed at a rate of 3g per square meter. To help you sow in an even way you can measure 3g. A small handful is approximately 3g but its best to weigh to make sure. Then sow on a square meter you have marked out. This gives you a visual reference when you sow across the whole bed. Pop some more seeds in your hand and scatter as evenly as possible across the whole area. I usually add in some more for the birds and for luck. Then gently, very gently rake over again. As a rule of thumb seeds should be sown at a depth 3 times their width so not very deep for these tiny seeds.





Then ta-dah! All you need to do now is wait over the coming weeks and enjoy the display.


Watch this space for part 2 The perennial meadow.

Whether annual meadow or perennial meadow, for maximum success for you and your wildlife there needs to be careful consideration about the position of your meadow in the right place in your garden. It essential to have a great garden design to follow. If you would like help with garden design and horticulture please visit www.clareswildgarden.com and contact me. I would love to hear from you.



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