Ask a Master Gardener
Frequently Asked Questions
I would like to broadcast flower seeds on the cleared, open ground near my cabin- about 1/2 acre. The effect I'm looking for is color and food for bees & hummingbirds. The land will receive about 6-8 hours of sunlight during the summer. It is well drained but has little top soil. What type of seeds do you recommend; when to plant; where to purchsae them?
I reached out to a fellow Master Gardener here in our county. Vic Johnson has been butterfly gardening for many years, and I thought he might be your best help in getting your area growing.
Here are his suggestions:
You have plenty of sunlight.
Since there may not be good topsoil he recommends that you focus on native plants that are more adapted to various soil types. Do not add fertilizer at the planting phase.
October, November is the best time to plant seeds.
If using a spreader, mix the seed with sand to make sure the seed's spread more evenly.
Make sure the seed is making good contact with the soil so going over the area with a yard rake may be needed.
For a half-acre, you will probably need 10 to 20 pounds of seed. Contact the company you purchase the seed from to help guide you on quantity, how much sand to add, and dispersing the seed properly.
Here are 4 sources of seed for our area:
1. Garrett Wildflower Seed Farm: garrettseed.com
2. American Meadows. They have a Southeast Pollinator Wildflower Seed Mix. americanmeadows.com
3. Roundstone Native Seeds. They have a Pollinators & Honey Bee Mix for Southern Regions: roundstoneseed.com
4. Mellow Marsh Farm. They have a MMF Pollinator Mix: mellowmarshfarm.com
Here is a link to a document called North Carolina Pollinator Toolkit Much of the info will not apply but some will.
Top 25 Native Pollinator Plants for North Carolina Also includes native plant and seed supplies.
I hope this helps. Good luck on this fascinating and beneficial project.