Wildflower photo © Stanford University
Wildflowers In 3 Steps
Copyright Pam Walatka
If you scatter wildflower seeds at the beginning or in the middle of your rainy season, in fields,
by roads, or anywhere wild grasses grow, you might help people see the beauty of the world.
It is easy. It is cheap. It might work.
(If you have a large--an acre or more--property to seed, watch this video.)
- Get seeds
You can acquire wildflower seeds by harvesting them from existing plants, by buying packets or
canisters in a store, or by ordering online. Your best bet will be your state (or national) flower;
odds are those flowers grow naturally in you area.
- Use your rainy season
If you scatter wildflower seeds at the beginning or in the middle of your rainy season, the plants
can use rain to grow while they develop a very long tap root. Later, when the surface soil dries out,
the long tap root gives the flower access to deep water. By definition, wildflowers do not need irrigation.
- Scatter and forget
The basic idea of wildflower cultivation is you throw out some seeds and hope they grow. Wildflowers
need no care.
A couple of years ago, I scattered five different batches of seeds in five different but similar areas.
Four of the batches failed to do anything. One batch worked. From that one batch, poppies have grown and
re-seeded themselves every year. In sowing wildflowers, as with many efforts, the odds are against success,
but the effort is worth doing for the fun of doing it. When I fling wildflower seeds into the air and onto
the earth, I feel hope and joy.
Scatter the seeds wherever natural wild grasses grow: a field, a vacant lot, a hillside, beside the road.
Generally, wildflowers like a sunny area. Open the container (packet/canister) and hold onto the
container while flinging your arm, like tossing a Frisbee. This is not about control. This is about wildness.
Video: Large Area Wildflower Planting at Stanford.
On the sprawling Stanford campus, landscapers use wildflowers to beautify fields and roadway meridians. In this video, Pam Walatka interviews Mary Nolan, Academic Maintenance Supervisor at Stanford. The video originally appeared on losaltospatch.com.
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