It is now believed that the optimum sowing time for seeds is between August and the end of October since this is when most seeds tend to shed naturally. Although sowing in springtime is often favoured there are many benefits to sowing in the autumn and it is now becoming a more recognised and accepted practice.
Here are some of the benefits to sowing in the autumn:
- Seeds that are sown during August and October often germinate quicker.
- Autumn sown wildflowers tend to flower earlier the following spring as they benefit from winter ground frost to kick start their germination – the frost will help to break the dormancy of the newly sown seeds.
- A higher percentage of moisture is absorbed by the seed during the winter, creating the ideal growing conditions for the seed to germinate.
- There is a reduction in the risk of bird damage as there is greater availability of other food for the birds.
Although there are benefits to sowing in the autumn, there are a few things to remember:
- Do not sow the seeds later than October, unless a warm / mild winter is expected as too much frost too early can cause direct damage to the seed, resulting in the seed being killed off.
- Waterlogged soil or heavy soil during the winter has no benefit to the seed and the seed will begin to rot rather than germinate. If you wish to plant a wildflower mix into heavy / damp soil it is often advised to wait until the following March – April to prevent the risk of rotting the seeds.
Read the full details in our download document: Autumn News
See our download – How to create a Wildflower Meadow