Will Wildflowers from a canister...

LibbyLizMay 30, 2003

look good & do well lining exposed tree roots and around the tree itself, in clay soil?

My original intention was to scatter them on the top & sides of the approximate 75-foot long mound/ridge leftover after a contractor came through and buried the power lines.

It's in their contract to rake and level the mounds, getting rid of all the rocks & lay sod, so I guess I shouldn't do this & rope off the area only to have it wasted/destroyed. :-(

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eleanor_rigby(z5 OH)

First of all, if you look at the contents of those canisters you buy you will find that only a small percentage of the seeds (if any) are really desirable wild flowers. Most are the very common seeds that tend to seed themselves very readily.

Second--if this is an area that has seen recent construction, that disruption of the soil has brought all sorts of weed seeds to the surface. You will soon see them begin to germinate. Often, these are very undesirable plants that like disturbed areas. Most of them will out-compete any desirable wild flowers.

Third--wait until the contractor finishes his part before you decide to do anything. If it is an area surrounded by grass, why not reseed it with grass? Do you really want a narrow strip of wild flowers (if they grow successfully) where this long strip of dirt is now?

Eleanor

    Bookmark   May 31, 2003 at 12:45PM
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LibbyLiz

The mound of dirt left from the contractors is about 6-feet wide in places by 3-feet high in places. I think it looks like a naturally formed ridge, with hills & dales.

But that's probably not where I'll plant the seeds since the contractor is coming back probably on Monday to level & rake, and by fall hopefully to lay sod.

The area where I'll be left with to put the seeds is around the trunk & very large exposed tree roots, where we can't mow near or we'd tear up the blade because of the roots & uneven ground, & where no string trimmer should be allowed to hack away at the bark on the roots & trunk.

The seeds are:
Adonis aestivalis
Calendula officianalis
Centaurea cyanus mix
Cherianthus cheirii mix
Chrysanthemum Shasta Daisy
Coreopsis tinctoria mix
Cosmos bipinnatus
Delphinium consolida mix
Dianthus barbatus mix
Digitalis purpurea
Echinacea purpurea
Eschscholzia californica
Gypsophila elegans white
Linum perenne
Lupinus perenne
Papaver rhoeas
Rudbeckia hirta

I know what several of these are (Shasta Daisy, Cosmos, Delphinium mix, Dianthus mix, Purple Foxglove, Purple Coneflower, Baby's Breath, Lupine, Red Poppy, & Black-eyed Susan I think), but I don't know what the others are.

I also don't know what the percentage of each is. It's indicated that "No individual component exceeds 5% of total mixture".

    Bookmark   May 31, 2003 at 10:49PM
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rebow(6 Philly)

My experience with seed is you have to make sure that they aren't buried too far with dirt because they need light to germinate; just sprinkle them on then lightly rake the area so that the seeds get contact with the dirt. Then lightly water to keep them moist. I haven't had to water mine more than a few times this spring and I seeded a whole 200X25ft slope with wildflower mixture. They are all coming up nicely. Be sure that when the weather dries up you water them or they will dry up. And plant soon before it getts too hot or the heat will just shrivle them and they won't grow. Also, alot of those seeds you listed are perennials and won't bloom this year. They will spend this year getting established and may bloom next year. so if you Care for them well this season you will have a beautiful display next summer.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2003 at 7:21AM
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eleanor_rigby(z5 OH)

Sounds like a good mix, but all of those plants prefer full sun. I don't think they will do too well for you under a tree. Also, they would have to compete with all of those exposed roots for moisture. I have Ajuga that wilts under those conditions! It is growing under poplar trees that have high, exposed roots. I would look for something that will tolerate a dry, shady situation rather than the mix you have listed above.

Eleanor

    Bookmark   June 1, 2003 at 9:13PM
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LibbyLiz

The area gets southern dappled sun for several hours and western direct sun for several hours. I thought that'd be good enough.

However, you're right about the plants competing with the tree for moisture. I made the mistake of planting wildflowers under/around Maple trees inside raised landscaping timber boxes back in Eastern WA. Those were the saddest/nastiest-looking wildflowers I've ever seen. I didn't know then that Maples (just those or all?) have a lot of surface sucker roots!

I ripped the wildflowers out after one year & put down weed fabric and beauty bark instead, which looked 100% better & still protected the young trees from the mower and string trimmer.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2003 at 5:23PM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Most of the plants in your mix are not native wildflowers, many are annuals, almost all get 2- 4 ft tall and need full sun. All in all, not good for under a tree.

Check on the Woodland forum or Native forum for shady woods wildflower ideas.

Personally, I would remove the grass to create a three to four foot diameter bed around the tree, covering the soil with mulch. Next spring tuck in one or two hosta, bleeding heart (dicentra exima blooms all season) and primroses for bloom.

For a native part shade garden, consider trillium, wild blue phlox, large leaved aster, wild ginger, virginia blue bell, golden alexanders, barren strawberry.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2003 at 2:39PM
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loniesmom(z5 (6?) NE OH)

Judy you're GOOD. I second everything she said and add my own experience with the wildflower mix was SO simple -- things quickly started to sprout and it literally looked like a bed of weeds for 4 weeks. Not knowing what all those seedlings were supposed to look like I got really scared that the now-disturbed weed seeds from the original soil had taken over and so I started "thinning". Well, two seasons later I have exactly four of the original plants left. Two were perennials and two are copious re-seeders.
Look for dry shade, shallow soil tolerant plants.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2003 at 4:06PM
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chroma2424(z6 OH)

I got it from "Worldwise Garden Seeds"

don't seem too bad :) we'll see if they work where I wanna put them.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2003 at 9:49PM
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craftylady_MA(z8MA)

I bought a bag of 'butterfly attracting flowers' and English Garden flowers. some attract hummingbirds, and other attracts butterflies. Hope it works. The plants are growing well, all over a large area. Some between by glads that were their last year that I missed. Will see this summer. Thanks for the input. First time trying this method.
Craftylady_ Ma.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2003 at 11:29PM
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