Laying Meadowmat wild flower turf in your garden
A step by step guide.
If you are wondering whether or not to grow a wild flower area in your garden, this blog will help you to see just how easy it is to establish wild flowers using wild flower turf. They can be devils to grow from seed but when you use a specialist turf like Meadowmat, all the worry has been taken away from you. It’s quicker too!
The Best Time of Year to lay wild flower turf
Wild flower seeds need to be sown onto prepared ground in either spring or autumn. The turf however can be laid at any time of year.
There are just a few things to think about – most of them are common sense.
- The ground should not be frozen
- The soil should not be so wet that you can’t work with it.
- Wild flowers prefer poor soils – if you’ve been carefully adding nutrients to your soil for years, hoping to grow better fruit, veg or cut flowers – see below.
- The turf must be laid on the same day as it is delivered – don’t try to store it until you’re ready to go, it will die.
- You will need to water wild flower turf every day for the first 2-4 weeks after installation. In Scotland you can almost guarantee that Mother Nature will help out but be prepared to irrigate on hot, dry or windy days.
How to Prepare the Soil
Soil preparation is much the same for wild flowers as it is for veggies, turf or grass seed. Be aware though, that wild flowers don’t thrive when the soil is rich in nitrogen or phosphorus. It’s well worth investing in a soil test kit from the garden centre and checking those levels. Don’t worry if they’re high – your preparation work can resolve that.
If you have nutrient rich soil
For wild flowers your really do need to drop the nutrient levels in your soil as low as possible. The easiest way is to dig out some of the soil and replace it with a specially blended low fertility soil.
You can plant wild flower turf on to subsoil but be careful not to upset the drainage in your garden by removing too much topsoil.
Alternatively, think about building a raised bed, filling it with low fertility soil and installing wild flower turf in that. It looks lovely, the flowers are lifted up so that you can see them easier and there is a low risk of the plant nutrients in the rest of your garden soil leaching into and contaminating the wild flower area.
Step one: Loosen the soil to a depth of at least 15cm
Either dig over the area with a garden fork or hire a rotovator. Remember to remove any debris and old vegetation first.
Step two: rake and level
Use a garden rake to level the area and break it down into a lovely tilth. So no big lumps, no rocks and not too many hills and hollows. Undulations are fine and having higher and lower areas will create more interest. BUT if you are planning on maintaining your wild flower area with machinery – a level surface is much easier to work with.
This is the consistency you are looking for in prepared soil. If the texture (but not neccessarily the colour) reminds you of breadcrumbs or the topping on an apple crumble, you are ready to lay your Meadowmat.
Firm the soil
Use your feet, or a heavy board to firm the surface of the soil. It mustn’t be rock solid but neither should it sink when you tread on it.
When you’ve finished, rake it over again to loosen the top 2-3 cm.
Lay your wild flower turf
Honestly, it’s as easy as unrolling a carpet. Just be careful not to hurt yourself though. These rolls are bigger than standard turf rolls and they are heavy. It’s a 2 person job to move them around.
Work systematically and use laying boards to spread your weight. That will avoid undoing all that soil preparation work you just did.
Unroll the first piece of wild flower turf and wiggle it into position. Use a sharp knife to trim it to shape/size if you need to.
The next piece should be butted up close to the first piece. Again, trim as necessary.
When the whole area is covered, water your wild flower turf really well. It might look a bit battered for the first couple of days but it will soon recover.
Water daily for the first fortnight and then every other day for the following two weeks.
Here’s a video to show you how easy it is to lay wild flower turf.
The price of Meadowmat wild flower turf delivered to Scotland
For a no-obligation chat and more information about Meadowmat contact Eleanor and David at Stewarts Turf