With the moon rising, it is the perfect time to sow wildflowers and beneficial insect flowers. If sown now, these will be up and flowering for early summer which is a great time to be bringing beneficial and predator insects into the garden.
How to sow these seeds
Usually I am a gardener that likes to throw seeds around and leave the rest to Mother Nature.
However, with these types of seeds I have found that ground preparation is important for successful germination. The seeds for these types of flowers can be very fussy, as they are not too happy to compete with weeds.
Here’s my steps for success based on the experiences I have had:
Step 1: Prepare an area of garden you want them to go in and weed thoroughly.
Step 2: Scatter some seed raising or potting mix on the areas
Step 3: Then scatter the seeds and cover with a light dusting of potting mix, pat down and water
Step 4: Cover with netting to prevent the birds or cats from disturbing the soil (eating or the other thing…!)
Top tip: I advise you not to put heaps of soil on top of the seeds, as too much will stop them from germinating. You can rake them into the prepared soil if you like, as this works just as well.
These seeds can be up and growing within a few days if planted at the right time of the moon. These flowers are not that hungry so huge amounts of food are not needed. A little lime can help sweeten the soil, but isn’t essential.
I never thin mine out as it gives a great blanket of flowers when fully grown. The flowers tend to germinate at different times so don’t worry if this happens. They will push their way through to give you a grand display.
Top tip: The key to longevity of some of these flowers is to always dead head them, as new flowers will keep coming all the time. Then, towards the end of the season, let them go to seed and collect this for next season’s growing.
I sow lots of these seeds in all different areas of my garden for a few reasons:
#1 to bring beneficial insects in for my vegetable garden
#2 for the pure beauty of the flowers
#3 when you plant them towards your boundaries, as well as close to your veggie garden, the more insects you will attract.
Top tip: As your seeds grow into tiny plants, make sure you know what types of weeds are in your garden, as these could sprout amongst your seeds and take over.
It is especially important in the first 6-8 weeks of growth. After this time they are pretty self-sufficient and will grow and bloom, bringing both you and the insects much pleasure and benefit.
If you live in the warmer parts of NZ, you can start your sowing now and continue sowing for the next few months. This way you will ensure a continuous blooming period.
Beneficial flowers do not require huge amounts of water as, when densely planted, they cover the ground, helping to retain moisture in the soil.
My last top tip: If you don’t have time to prepare the soil this week, I advise you sow them in deep trays and transplant next month. I have successfully done this in the past, as long as you plant them out before they are too big. Alternatively, if you have a container garden, they will go well in this area.