What to do if nothing is growing

If you’ve sown your wildflower seeds and nothing is growing, you may be wondering why. Don’t worry, there are many factors that may have prevented your seeds from germinating, have a read of our tips, and hopefully next time they’ll grow for you.

someone sowing seeds

Time

The best time to sow your seeds is in March and April, or September and October, when your soil temperature should be ideal. However, our UK weather isn’t always that reliable and we seem to be having periods of extreme hot and cold which can affect your seeds germinating. Before sowing, keep an eye on the weather, if it is very cold and wet it may cause your seeds to rot in the ground, so it’s best to wait until the weather improves and your soil is warmer before sowing.

Not sure when Spring is? Watch our video!

Moisture

Moisture is an important factor in getting your seeds to grow. Seeds need moisture to germinate, but too much water will cause your seeds to rot. Have you considered whether your soil was too dry or too wet?

Ideally, you should sow your seeds on a dry day and then water them in. If the weather continues to be dry you will need to keep watering your patch to ensure your seeds have the moisture they need to germinate. If your soil is naturally dry and free draining, you will have to water your seeds more often. The best way to check if your soil is moist enough is to use the hands-on approach, and push your finger a cm or two below the surface of the soil to feel if it is dry or not.

If you are concerned that your soil is too heavy (lots of clay) or too light (very sandy), a good way to improve these soils is by adding organic matter like compost. Organic matter can help improve both soil drainage and its ability to hold onto water. With the right amount of moisture, your seeds will thrive.

Location

Some seeds need a bit of light to help them germinate, so as tempting as it is don’t bury your seeds too deeply. When sowing your seeds outside, gently rake them in. If sowing into a container, just cover your seeds with a light sprinkling of compost. Make sure you’ve picked a patch or place for your pot, that is in full sunshine and not shaded out by any trees.

people weeding

Weeds 

Before sowing your seeds, it’s very important to remove all plants from your patch so that you are sowing into bare soil. Weeds are very good at growing, so given half a chance they will dominate the space where you want your wildflowers to grow. A good idea is to clear your patch, wait two weeks, and then weed it again before you sow your seeds. This will give them a real head start against the competition!

Birds

At Grow Wild we love nature, but sometimes our feathered friends can scupper the germination of our seeds by nibbling them when we aren’t looking! Be sure to rake your seeds in well, and if you know birds are hanging around, consider netting your sown area until your seeds have germinated.