Wildflowers in the BackYard

  Adding wildflowers to your backyard landscape can dramatically change the look. It's easy, doesn't cost much, and once you get them started, Mother Nature will lend a hand.

You can pick up packets of wildflower seeds at numerous stores; from Kmart to Home Depot. Most wildflowers like plenty of sun, but check the packet. There are a few varieties that like shade.

To get started, choose an area of your yard where the sunshine is prevalent. The more grass and weed you remove from the area, the more dominant the wildflowers will be. Don't worry, though. There will be some grass eventually growing there and it just adds to the look.

Wildflowers grow in almost any soil. Basically, if grass and/or weeds grow there, wildflowers will most likely grow there as well. One exception is areas that do not drain well.

If you have access to a tiller, till the area lightly. Do not go too deep. Two or three inches deep is best. You just want to loosen the dirt. If you don't have a tiller, you'll have to do it the old fashion way with a shovel and a rake.

Once you loosen the dirt, rake it so it looks fairly level. Then spread the seeds according to the directions on the packet. You will then rake the area so the seeds are covered by an inch or two of dirt.

Don't worry too much about birds eating your seed. You can chase them away when you are in the yard, but they are not going to consume that much of your seed.

Water thoroughly. It's recommended you water daily until the plants begin to sprout. You will usually see some sprouting within a week or two, but some do take much longer. About two weeks of daily water should be sufficient.

You can also take seed and spread it throughout your yard, much like Mother Nature does. The seed will work its way into the ground from the rainfall. Using this method, it's not uncommon for the wildflowers to begin sprouting the next year.

Spreading seeds throughout your flower gardens adds some very nice color and, since this ground has been worked, they grow rather quickly. An added bonus is they help cut down on weeds in your garden.

Once your wildflowers come up, they will reward you with exciting colors. The flowers grow at different times, so you may find some nice blue ones early in the summer and others springing up throughout the rest of the summer, replacing the ones that die out.

As the wildflowers die out, their seeds fall to the ground and are spread by the wind, as well as birds. The next year you will have wildflowers in areas you weren't expecting.

Each year more and more wildflowers appear in your landscape. The colors they add will leave your backyard breathtaking.