Sowing a species-rich patch of meadow flowers is one of the approaches to nature conservation for everyone, which is pretty to look at, provides a place to eat for pollinators, and a place where domestic plants can grow. Everybody can create a patch around the house where meadow flowers can blossom, thus helping bring biodiversity to our vicinity, whether it be in your own garden or by the streetside, next to the community centre or on the village square. Here are some pointers that help you succeed in your endeavours.
A patch of meadow flowers sown during the last year’s collective action event at the Laupa school (Photo: Anneli Paas)
1. Location and preparationMeadow plants prefer drier and more nutrient deficient soil; sunnier areas are preferable to the shade. Removing the turf altogether or completely digging through the soil and removing all the plant roots helps achieve the best result.
2. Seeds of meadow plantsFor the creation of an area of meadow plants, it is preferable to use seeds of plants of domestic origin; this helps preserve the biodiversity inherent to the Estonian nature. Packages of meadow plant seeds will be sent upon request to the collective action site (more information available here). Should you want to gather seeds yourself, you can reap hay in a suitable place at the end of summer and lay it down in a prepared area where the seeds fall into the soil by themselves. Another way is to pick some meadows where desired plants grow, and pick the seeds there when they ripen. Seeds can also be bought from local businesses. Do pick seeds of domestic origin, this helps preserve the genetic diversity inherent to the Estonian nature.
3. Taking care of the plant patchAnnual plants, such as the cornflower, corn-cockle, long-headed poppy, and forking larkspur, usually show up in the first year. Over the next years, multi-annual meadow flowers start to flourish, but you can increase the abundance of flowers by sowing additional seeds every year. The best time to mow the plant patch is the second half of summer when most plants have flourished.