As plants emerge, most are small and green so telling which is which involves a bit of cunning. If you have sown your seeds in a particular pattern then you should be able to identify when shoots are appearing where they shouldn’t be. However, it’s not always that easy!
The dandelion has many properties. The leaves and fresh buds can be used in salads and the roots, when dried, can be drunk as a coffee substitute. The plant is also a powerful detoxifier and diuretic. The French call dandelions ‘pis-en-lit’ or ‘piss in bed’ because of this!
How do I identify weeds?
Mark where you’ve sown your seeds with a fine sprinkle of dry sand.
Find out more fascinating facts about weeds from our What Is A Weed Anyway? campaign
Wildflowers grow fast, but to get the best results you need to keep on top of the weeds. Here’s some top tips to keep your Grow Wild space tip top.
Later in the season, when you notice some tall, healthy weeds or grasses among your wildflowers, try not to let them bloom and seed. This means when they “top out” with seed heads on the plants (wheat-like seed plumes or tassels for most grasses) either pull the plants or cut the tops before the seed ripens. This way, those seeds won’t rain down into your flowers and be back next year in bigger numbers.
As expert flower gardeners know, if you cut annual flowers, it forces more bloom. Here’s why. Since an annual lives only one year, it’s “purpose in life” is to create seed. If you remove flowers before the ripen into seed pods, the plant simply buds out and makes more flowers, trying to produce some seed.
What if I planted only perennial wildflowers?
Visions of bird-feeders, grassy paths through the flowers, a decorative bench in a favorite spot-maybe even a pond, are always dancing in our heads. With wildflowers, they’ll all relatively easy. So record and remember your favorites, stake out not-so-great areas to refresh next time, and enjoy! “Next Time”, whether you planted last spring or last fall, is this coming fall. Remember, nature plants most wildflowers in the fall, and so can you. It’s not too early to be choosing which species or mixtures you’d like to add to improve or expand things.
If you planted a mixture with wild annuals in it (That’s all regional mixtures, All-Annual, Butterfly/Hummingbird, etc.), your bloom should begin between 6-12 weeks after the seed sprouts. For example, in the Northeast, if you plant in late May, bloom begins during June or July. Of course, this assumes two important factors: weather and water. If you’re in the “hot zone” this year, things may be slowed down a bit. And of course, your seedlings must have sufficient water to grow up to blooming size.
Another tip is to be creative with what you put in your arrangement. We like long grass plumes, the tassles from grasses (and even some weeds) that are setting seeds. A few of these “wheat-like” spikes towering above a big flower arrangement give it a decided “wild” look, a great unique representation of the wild meadow outside.