Spring is the time of year traditionally associated with new life and growth, which is why many perceive it to be the best time to sow seeds. For many seeds, however, autumn is actually the best season to sow, as Dr Emily Attlee, co-founder of wildflower specialist, Seedball, explains.
Autumn scattering has a number of advantages. For a sea of beautiful, pollinator-friendly plants to appear throughout spring, scattering wildflower seeds in autumn will give you a jump start on the year, allowing enough time for them to germinate and, and can often lead to bigger, healthier flowers than those sown in the spring.
During the autumn months, the soil will still be relatively warm, having stored up energy from the summer sun. There is usually extra moisture in the air too, and both of these conditions work together to aid germination, which provides seeds with the best possible start. Some seeds also require a cooler period prior to germination, so autumn is the opportune time to get them ready for the following spring, as the cold winter months will provide this drop in temperature.
Sowing in autumn also means that with increasingly likely rainfall, nature will take care of the watering for you, so very little effort is needed to keep the seeds thriving. Using products such as Seedball also gives seeds that extra layer of protection, too, so they can stay happy whilst they grow. The balls are coated in clay to allow the wildflower seeds to be protected from predators such as birds and ants, whilst peat-free compost is used to provide nutrition and a little bit of chilli powder to deter slugs and snails.
It is also important to remember that wildflowers prosper in poorer quality soils, meaning that no seedbed preparation is needed to grow these beautiful flowers.
Seeds can be scattered all the way up until the first frost arrives – this does differ in different parts of the country, but if it is not icy at night, it is still suitable to scatter.
If you’re looking to start scattering this autumn, our Single Flower Grab Bags – which include varieties such as evening primrose and cornflowers – and Urban Meadow Tins are the perfect choices to get started. The single grab bags contain seedballs of the same seed and are available in 24 different varieties so there is something for everyone to enjoy. The urban meadow tins offer a beautiful mix of native wildflowers, gifting you a bloom of different varieties.
A simple scattering of seed balls today will result in a brighter, wilder tomorrow!
To find out more about Seedball visit https://seedball.co.uk/