Finally, Iowa has decided to give me a beautiful sunny afternoon that was perfect for planting. You may recall that before I spent almost the entire week inside, I was able to get more dirt to fill in some holes that already existed in our flower bed. I also used that dirt to thinly cover the meadow, and to be honest, the rain that followed actually came in handy. I was able to watch the water collect in some of the lower areas, and today, I rectified those trouble spots. One last tilling ensured that most of the clumps and clods were broken down. A few minuscule tufts of grass remain, but I’m not worried about them. With everything ready, all that was left to do was plant!
My planting method was pretty straightforward, and it came right from the guidelines that American Meadows provided both on their website and in the mail along with the seeds. 6-10 parts play sand to 1 part seed split into 2 buckets. No need for a calculator or measuring cups. There’s no exact science to this.
With one bucket of sand/seed mix, I went up and down (north and south) across the dirt, scattering the seeds as evenly as I could manage by hand. The sand helped dilute the seeds, but it also had the added benefit of showing me where I’ve already been. Then I took my second bucket and went back and forth (east and west) to ensure that every part of the meadow got a good amount. It appears the 1/2 pound bag was just the right amount for my 800 square feet of space, though I could have maybe added some more sand so I wasn’t cutting it so close.
I lightly stamped over the ground (though I could have rolled a barrel or placed a piece of plywood and walked over it) as an extra step to ensure these seeds were packed tight. And lastly, I watered them with the shower setting on my hose. American Meadows suggests keeping these little seedlings moist until they are about 6-8″ tall, so I’ll likely be watering them everyday that it doesn’t rain.
A couple things going forward:
- Some of the meadow, as you can see, gets more shade than the rest. I didn’t purchase American Meadows’ partial shade seed mix because the entire area does receive at least four hours of sun in the morning or afternoon. As the meadow takes shape, I’ll keep a close eye on the shadier spots and see if I need to purchase a different mix.
- I kind of have a “wait and see what grows where attitude” right now, and I’m totally okay with that. As I’ve detailed before, flowers in the wild grow in all sorts of seemingly uninhabitable environments, so I’m going to let nature do its thing for now, and see if I need to intervene with more seeds in the future.
- Expect a post about weeds (SUPER EXCITING) this week, and then weekly updates about the meadow’s growth! I have other posts in the works too, so stay tuned!
Thank you all so much for joining me on the inaugural journey of Meadow Restored. The Global Meadow Movement is growing every week, so stay tuned for some before and after photos of these rewilding projects happening all over the world! I look forward to watching this current project come full bloom (see what I did there?) and start my next one real soon!
And if this blog has inspired you to start your own meadow (no matter how small), please PLEASE contact me with any questions you might have.