All about Grow Wild

What is Grow Wild?

Answer

Grow Wild is a dynamic £10.5m mass participation programme to bring people and communities together to sow, grow and enjoy UK native wild flowers.

Supported by the Big Lottery Fund, Grow Wild is the national outreach initiative of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and aims to inspire people to do something positive where they live: transforming unloved urban spaces, gardens, cool containers and windowsills into wildlife-friendly wild flower patches.

As well as handing out thousands of free seed packets and kits, we also fund over 150 projects around the UK. 

Read more about us

F.A.Q. Category

All about Grow Wild

What is Grow Wild planning to do?

Answer

Grow Wild aims to reach 30 million people including 4 million young people aged 12 to 25. We are creating four inspirational flagship sites, one each in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and 280 community projects that will have a tangible impact on each locality and each individual involved.

Thousands of groups and individuals are also encouraged to transform unloved spaces into colourful wild flower havens with Grow Wild seed kits and packets

F.A.Q. Category

All about Grow Wild

Why UK native wild flowers?

Answer

In the UK we’re lucky enough to have some amazing wild flowers, but we’re in danger of losing them as their natural habitats disappear. Sadly, we have lost 98% of our wild flower meadows since the 1930s. That means less colour in our lives, less shelter for wildlife and less food for birds, butterflies and bees. But it’s something we can change: so all the more reason to get sowing, growing and enjoying UK native flowers. Read more about UK native wild flowers.

F.A.Q. Category

All about Grow Wild

How does growing wild flowers help insects and animals?

Answer

The good thing about growing native wild flowers is that they’re fantastic for our native wildlife. Having evolved alongside each other, our wildlife and wild flowers are well-suited. Wild flowers provide food in the form of nectar, pollen, seeds, fruits and foliage. Common knapweed, oxeye daisy and lady’s bedstraw are all rich sources of nectar for pollinating insects. Wild flowers also provide nesting sites, larval food, forage and shelter.

F.A.Q. Category

All about Grow Wild

UK flagship sites

Who are the Grow Wild flagship site winners?

Answer

Grow Wild is funding one flagship site in each UK country and these have now all been allocated. The Grow Wild Scotland flagship site, Barrhead Water Works launched in June 2014 and the England flagship site, Tale of Two Cities launched in July 2015. 'The Cornfield Project' in Coleraine won the public vote for Northern Ireland and Furnace to Flowers in Ebbw Vale was the winner for Wales  – find out more on our flagship sites.

 

 

F.A.Q. Category

UK flagship sites

How will these places be maintained in the future?

Answer

In addition to the £120,000 award, the winning site also receives £15,000 towards two years’ upkeep with on-going activities and the involvement of the local community, including young people. The winning site also has the continued support of Grow Wild and a professional maintenance contractor to realise their legacy plans to support the creation of a lasting, inspiring and exciting communal space by growing UK native plants to benefit thousands of people locally and tell a story that resonates nationally.  

 

F.A.Q. Category

UK flagship sites

Can I see the project plans?

Answer

Each plan was developed in consultation with people in the project area. Please visit the Flagships page of our website for an overview of each project and links to each project lead. You can view the full plans locally on request. Please email hello@growwilduk.com with details of what you’d like to see and we’ll forward your request to the project team.

 

F.A.Q. Category

UK flagship sites

Why didn’t you just split the money three ways between the finalists and have three flagship sites?

Answer

We’re looking for an organisation and their partners to become ambassadors for a new approach to connecting people to nature; to create an inspiring and exciting communal space by growing UK native plants to benefit thousands of people locally and tell a story that resonates nationally. The flagship site needs the full £120,000 to deliver these ambitious plans. 

 

F.A.Q. Category

UK flagship sites

Why isn’t there a flagship site in my area?

Answer

Grow Wild is funding one flagship site in each UK country. There may be a funded community project near you: we’re looking to fund 50 to 70 community projects each year in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Search on our current projects on our Grow Wild interactive map .

 

F.A.Q. Category

UK flagship sites

The population of each of the locations in the flagship vote varied – how did you make it a fair competition?

Answer

Each flagship locality had broadly equivalent resources and access to support networks to attract voters. Grow Wild provided the same support for all flagship projects to help each prepare for the public vote and run activities to encourage votes. The support included the same provision of digital, print and film assets.

 

F.A.Q. Category

UK flagship sites

Can I apply for a flagship award?

Answer

Grow Wild is funding one flagship in each UK country: these have now all been awarded so we are no longer accepting flagship applications. 

 

F.A.Q. Category

UK flagship sites

Why is Big Lottery money being spent on this?

Answer

The Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of National Lottery good-cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery. The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and awards grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK.


Supported by Big Lottery Fund and led by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Grow Wild inspires communities, friends, neighbours and individuals across the UK to come together to transform local spaces – by sowing, growing and enjoying native wild flowers. We believe that this simple act of creativity can turn spaces into beautiful, inspiring and colourful wildlife havens; encouraging people to care for and delight in the nature around them. Our flagship sites and other funded projects directly meet the Grow Wild programme outcomes.

 

F.A.Q. Category

UK flagship sites

Where will I find the terms and conditions for the flagship vote?

Answer

Please proceed to our terms and conditions page.

 

F.A.Q. Category

UK flagship sites

What did the runners-up get?

Answer

The two runner-ups received a £4,000 award from Grow Wild to deliver a smaller plan and attract additional funds. The runners-up also join the lively Grow Wild community project network and continue to have the active support from our team. We fund 50-70 funded groups each year – search for your nearest community project.
 

F.A.Q. Category

UK flagship sites

Still have a question about the flagships?

Answer

If your query is not covered by these FAQs, email Grow Wild at hello@growwilduk.com with the following information:

 

  1. Your name
  2. Email address and telephone number that Grow Wild can use to contact you
  3. Your query about the Grow Wild flagship sites, which isn’t covered at growwilduk.com/faqs
  4. If the problem is technical, tell us:
  • the time(s) you experienced issues
  • what issues you experienced when voting
  • the browser you were using, e.g. Internet Explorer 9
  • the type of device you were using, e.g. tablet, mobile phone, desktop, etc.

Grow Wild aims to respond to your query within five working days.

If your query is related to a specific flagship site, Grow Wild will pass on your query within five working days to the appropriate site to answer. Each flagship site is responsible for their own email response rate, which may or may not exceed Grow Wild’s five working day commitment.

F.A.Q. Category

UK flagship sites

Grow Wild funding and projects

Can I stay updated on where Grow Wild funded projects are?

Answer

Yes, search for projects on our community profile pages. You can also keep an eye on our blog for details of sites – and watch out for updates on our social media channels.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild funding and projects

Can I get involved with my nearest project?

Answer

Whether they have won the vote or not, all flagship projects will involve lots of people in their area. Watch out for the Grow Wild newsletter with links to upcoming profile pages and details about how to get involved. If you would like to offer your support, please chat with friends and spread the message on your social media. If you would like to take a more active role, please email hello@growwilduk.com with details of what you had in mind and we’ll forward your request to the project team.

 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild funding and projects

Can I have some funding to create my own Grow Wild space?

Answer

Grow Wild awards £1,000 to £4,000 to community groups that want to bring people together to transform a communal space by sowing and growing native plants. We’re funding 50 to 70 community projects each year in 2014, 2015 and 2016 - funding for 2016 has now been allocated.  Grow Wild also send out seed kits to community groups - these have now been allocated for 2016. 

 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild funding and projects

What’s the difference between a community project and a flagship site?

Answer

You can find some short summaries on what community projects and flagship sites are in our What we do section. 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild funding and projects

I’ve got a great idea for a community project – can I get funding?

Answer

Find out what we’re looking for in our community projects and how to contact our partnership team on our funding pages. Sign up to our e-newsletter to get funding news first, or follow our social media channels and look out for announcements on our website.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild funding and projects

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

Why do you advise not to sow my seeds near open countryside?

Answer

The seed in the Grow Wild packets contains a mix of common UK native and ‘archeophyte’ species. Native species are those that came here without human assistance, with most arriving between the end of the last ice age and the flooding of the English Channel 8,000 years ago. Archeophytes - ‘ancient plants’ - were brought here by humans, often introduced and finding a home amongst our crops. Poppies and cornflowers are examples, and have been part of the farmed landscape here for centuries.

The Grow Wild mix has been created to bring the colour and beauty of Britain’s wild flowers to the human environment – the gardens, streets and shared spaces that make up our towns and cities. It is not intended to be used in the open countryside or other places where wild plants are already established, particularly nature reserves or other areas where rare, species-rich habitats have been identified and protected. These intricate and distinctive communities of plants and animals may be damaged by the addition of plants from elsewhere, and should be cherished as they are.

If you already have wild plants growing naturally on your doorstep, act on the safe side - pass your seeds to someone who is not so lucky.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

I didn’t get any Grow Wild seeds this year, can I still get involved?

Answer

You can still get outside and photograph the wild flowers you see, and share them on social media to inspire other Grow Wilders using the hashtags #GrowWild and #GWspaces.

Sign up to our e-newsletter and you’ll be the first to find out about news and updates on the campaign. Check out this FAQ for more information about possible current seed offers.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

Where can I buy wild flower seeds?

Answer

Our seeds are free; thanks to the Big Lottery Fund, which is supporting Grow Wild – they are not available for purchase. Most garden centres and DIY shops have one or more ranges but if you want larger volumes, you might want to go to the suppliers directly, or buy online:

England and UK:

Scotland:

Wales:

Northern Ireland:

 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

Where do your seeds come from?

Answer

Our seeds are supplied by specialist growers: Landlife supplied the seeds for England and Wales, Scotia Seeds supplied the Scottish seeds and Eco Seeds supplied the mix for Northern Ireland.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

I came across a Grow Wild seed kit with a bee house and site markers – how can I get one?

Answer

Our 2014-2016 kits contained a bee house and site markers. These kits have now all been allocated to groups across the UK. 

Our special seed kits are available to formal and informal groups of people, and are not available for individuals or to buy.

For future updates, stay in touch via our website, social media channels and through our e-newsletter.

If you’d like to try building your own bee house, visit our Pollinators section, Buglife or RSPB Giving Nature a Home.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

Someone told me the flowers in the mix are weeds. Is this true?

Answer

A weed is just a plant growing where it’s not wanted. You want your wild flowers so they’re not weeds. But wild flowers have gained a bad reputation from people. This is because they grow naturally among crops and bare soil – in other words, where farmers or gardeners don’t want them. But where they’re wanted, they’re beautiful.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

I want to know about the provenance of your UK native seeds - can you tell me more?

Answer

You can find details of exactly who supplies our UK native wild flower seeds in another FAQ.
 
Our seed producers are not organic but they work the land in a traditional rotational way to help prevent the build-up of pests and diseases. They do not use high inputs of fertilisers and they never use insecticides or neonicitinoids. Our growers’ fields have substantially more insect birds and general wildlife than the surrounding farmland with high counts of rare farmland birds such as skylarks and corncrakes. Grow Wild seeds are not genetically modified organisms. They are wild-origin seeds which have not been subjected to plant breeding, or switching of genes.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

How long can I store my seeds for?

Answer

We recommend that you get cracking as soon as possible in spring. But if you miss the boat, all is not lost. You can sow them in September or October and they will get a head start for next spring.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

What seeds are in your seed packets?

Answer

Each packet contains a mix of attractive annual and perennial native wild flowers. There are special mixes for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and bilingual packets for Wales. Visit Seeds in our mix to see the full lists and to find out more about the flowers.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

What area do my Grow Wild seeds cover?

Answer

Each pack of Grow Wild seeds will cover up to 2m2 – about the size of a single bed.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

Can I have a free packet of seeds for me, or my group/organisation/event/promotion?

Answer

In 2016, Grow Wild partnered up with daily newspapers, television and radio to bring flowers to the people with its 2016 seed packet give-away. This offer has now closed and we don't have any more seeds left to distribute for spring sowing.

However, don’t forget that autumn is also a great time to sow wild flower seeds. Anytime from early September until the end of October is perfect.

Register to receive your free packet in September 2016 at https://sow.growwildseeds.com

In each year of the programme’s lifetime, Grow Wild makes up to 250,000 seed packets available to the general public through promotional partners.

Keep up to date on Grow Wild news by signing up to the e-newsletter or following our social media channels: FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

We also distribute thousands of free seed kits to groups of people to transform local spaces - directly and through partner organisations.

You can still get outside and photograph the wild flowers you see, and share them on social media to inspire other Grow Wilders using the hashtags #GrowWild and #GWspaces.

If you would like to purchase seeds, we have provided details of some wild flower seed suppliers above in this FAQ.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

Why aren’t there any regional wild flower seed mixes?

Answer

We’re a UK-wide campaign – and our seed mixes contain country-specific native wild flowers suited to a range of growing conditions. 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

Why aren’t Grow Wild promoting rarer wild flower species in their kits?

Answer

Our seed mixes were selected by experts at Kew to be vibrant and easy to grow. If you want to experiment with rarer species, check out wild flower seed suppliers.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

I live in the city and don’t have a very big garden; can I sow them in a window box?

Answer

Yes, absolutely. Window boxes can make great homes for wild flowers. It’s easy to keep an eye on them and they look brilliant and decorate your home when they flower. For ideas on where to sow your wild flower seeds, visit How to pick your site.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

Are any of the wild flowers poisonous?

Answer

Sensible garden precautions should be followed when using our seeds; refrain from eating, wash your hands after working outdoors and before eating or touching lips and eyes, and make sure pets and children are supervised.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

Where can I find out more information about wild flowers?

Answer

There are some wonderful things to discover. There's lots of information on our site but also check out Plantlife and The Wildlife Trusts.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

Where can I sow my seeds?

Answer

You can sow them in your garden, or in a container or a window box. You can be more adventurous and get together with some friends and neighbours and create a bee street, sow them on an allotment - or even in a public area that needs a bit of love and attention.

For ideas on where to sow your wild flower seeds, visit the website and check out How to pick your site.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

Do we need to sow all of our seeds at once?

Answer

One packet of Grow Wild seeds covers up to two square metres – and it’s better to save some for sowing later rather than overcrowd your seedlings. We’ve talked about storing seeds in another FAQ

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

How much of a packet of seeds should I use for a container?

Answer

That depends on the size of your container. Just bear in mind that one packet contains enough seeds to cover two square metres, so avoid crowding your seedlings into small places.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

Why UK native wild flowers?

Answer

In the UK we’re lucky enough to have some amazing wild flowers, but we’re in danger of losing them as their natural habitats disappear. We’ve lost around 98% of our wild flower meadows since the 1930s. That means less colour in our lives, less shelter for wildlife and less food for birds, butterflies and bees. Read more about our mission and why UK native wild flowers matter.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seeds and seed giveaways

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

What wild flower seeds are in our mix?

Answer

You can find pictures and details of all the flowers in your mix online or in your getting started guide.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Can I check how many kits my group will receive?

Answer

With so many kits to deliver, unfortunately we cannot answer individual enquiries about delivery or numbers. 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Can we grow the wild flower seeds indoors?

Answer

You should grow your wild flowers outdoors – remember they grow well in containers, as well as soil. 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

How quickly will our wild flowers bloom?

Answer

We’ve included a handy week-by-week growing calendar on page 17 of your getting started guide so you can keep tabs on your plants, but basically you’ll see your plants flowering within 14 to 16 weeks. Remember that you’ll only see the annuals flower this summer; the perennials in the mix won’t flower until next year.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

How do your seeds help wildlife?

Answer

Bees, insects and birds will benefit from your Grow Wild flowers – check out more details in our Nature blog

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

I haven’t received as many kits as I requested – why is that?

Answer

If registrations are over-subscribed, you may receive fewer kits than requested as we reduce allocations to ensure everyone gets at least one kit. Each kit has enough seed for a group to transform up to 10m2.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Can I change the delivery address?

Answer

If you’ve already applied and need to change your address, you can do this up until 28 February 2017, assuming your access key doesn’t expire earlier.

Change your address by resubmitting your registration form with the new address, using the same email address as before. This will replace the address entered the first time. If you can’t access the form again, please email hello@growwilduk.com   

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Can I have some seeds from another country? We’re in England, but are Scottish, so would like Scottish seed.

Answer

Our mixes are country-specific with seed of native provenance, so we cannot distribute to other countries. You’ll receive seed selected for the country where you live. 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Where should we sow our seeds?

Answer

We’d love it if you used your seeds to revamp local spaces that lots of people will benefit from. It doesn’t matter if you sow your seeds in soil or containers – just make sure that you have permission to sow them in the area you choose. There are more tips on picking a site over on our wild flower pages. 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Why aren’t these seed kits for use in private domestic gardens?

Answer

Grow Wild is all about bringing people together to sow, grow and enjoy wild flowers. These kits were designed for formal and informal groups to use in communal spaces and make a real difference where they live. If you’re an individual who’d like to get involved with Grow Wild, find out how here

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Do we need fertiliser?

Answer

It doesn’t matter if your soil isn’t great quality – wild flowers are resilient and tend to do best in poor, infertile soils so forget about using fertiliser. Follow the soil preparation tips in your getting started guide.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Why do England and Wales have the same seed mix?

Answer

That’s because the wild flowers native to the two are very similar.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

I applied for a seed kit – when will I receive it?

Answer

Registration will close at midnight on 28th February and we will begin distributing kits on 13th March. You should have received your kit by the end of March.

You may not have received a kit if the address supplied was incomplete, a non-UK residence, a duplicate or included a profanity. Very occasionally, our kits get lost in the post, but we minimise loss by using special mail services and couriers.

Please note: Grow Wild’s seed kit registration offer is subject to availability

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

What’s in your seed kits?

Answer

Each Grow Wild seed kit contains enough seed to transform up to 10 square metres, plus a getting started guide, DIY bee house and site markers. We have different native seed mixes for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. If you were allocated kits, you should have received them in time for spring sowing or you can wait and sow your seeds in the autumn.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Can we save the seeds for later use?

Answer

Yes, but store them in a cool, dark place – and try sowing in autumn or spring. Grow Wild’s seed have a high viability but bear in mind that this will dip slightly if you save them.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Can I get funding for a bigger project?

Answer

Sign up to our newsletter to get the news first, or make a date in your diary to look out for possible future funding opportunities and announcements here on our website or social media channels. See what’s happening where on our 2014, 2015 and 2016 UK Grow Wild projects map

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

How much of a packet of seeds should we use for a container?

Answer

That depends on the size of your container. Just bear in mind that one packet contains enough seeds to cover up to two square metres, so avoid crowding your seedlings in small places.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

I have too many seed kits. Can I send them back/give them away/sell them?

Answer

We can’t accept your kits back - so why not save them for use next year or offer them to another group in your community? Our kits are not to be sold, used as competition prizes or given in exchange for goods or services; check out our terms and conditions for more details.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

My kit access key isn’t working, what’s wrong?

Answer

Access keys will only work for a limited number of uses and timescale as assigned per partner organisation by the Grow Wild team.

If your access key isn’t working, this may be because you’re trying to use it too late or all the allocations for that key have already been used up.

Please note that every entry of an access key will count as one use, even if you didn’t complete and send the registration form.

If you believe your access key has stop working too soon, or know that you have entered it without going on to complete the form, please contact Tim Owen at t.owen@kew.org

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Are any of the wild flowers poisonous?

Answer

Sensible garden precautions should be followed when using our seeds; refrain from eating, wash your hands after working outdoors and before eating or touching lips and eyes, and make sure pets and children are supervised.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

What should we do if we’ve sown the seeds too close together?

Answer

Thin out your seedlings by removing those smaller or weaker plants or by digging up and replanting. However, it’s best to make sure there’s enough space for the plants to flourish when you’re initially sowing your seeds – each seed packet covers up to two square metres. See our getting started guide included in your kit for advice. 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Why wasn’t my group invited to apply for 2017 kits?

Answer

Grow Wild will work with specially selected groups in 2017 to transform shared spaces into colourful and inspiring wild flower havens. These groups will be invited through partner organisations to reach our target audiences. 

We’re working with a smaller number of groups this year because we’re trying out new things. Read more about our 2017 kits. 

You can still become a Grow Wilder as there are lots of ways to get involved online and where you live, and many more exciting things coming up this year, so come back soon. 

 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Why is the seed mix different each year?

Answer

Our seed mixes differ slightly each year due to different availability from our suppliers. We’ve listed what’s in each over on our wild flower pages.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

I received an email to say I was getting kits but they haven't arrived - who can I contact?

Answer

Please email us at hello@growwilduk.com

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

How do we protect our seeds from the birds?

Answer

We recommend you try making your own bird scarers from CDs or bottles – or make a scarecrow. Don’t forget to watch out for hungry slugs and snails too.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

How does Grow Wild decide who gets a kit?

Answer

In 2017, we’re allocating kits to specially selected groups who will receive an access key allowing them to register on the Grow Wild website through the designated form. After removing incomplete registrations, we allocate on a first-come, first-served basis.

Our allocation matches the available supply of kits in each country, minus a small number reserved by Grow Wild and its partner organisations. The supply of kits in each country is split according to population and expected demand.

We’re working with a smaller number of groups this year because we’re trying out new things. Read more about our 2017 kits.

No invite? You can still become a Grow Wilder as there are lots of ways to get involved online and where you live, and many more exciting things coming up this year, so come back soon. 

Read more about Grow Wild.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Do we need to sow all of our seeds at once?

Answer

One packet of Grow Wild seeds covers up to two square metres – and it’s better to save some for sowing later rather than overcrowd your seedlings. We’ve talked about storing seeds in another FAQ.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

My bee house blew away/broke, can I have another one?

Answer

We have now completed our 2016 seed kit distribution for spring sowing and are currently not offering any more kits containing bee houses to organisations or community groups. Sign up for our e-newsletter to receive regular updates about our programme and activities.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Why can't I sign in to your site to view my order?

Answer

As a seed kit registrant, you don't have a user account and can't log in to growwilduk.com. The 'sign in' button on growwilduk.com is for site admins, including Grow Wild staff. If you'd like to sign up for an e-newsletter head to our homepage

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

How often do we need to water our wild flowers?

Answer

It’s important your wild flowers have their roots in damp soil to grow well, particularly while they’re establishing good roots as seedlings and young plants. You may need to water every few days in hot, dry weather, and water every day if growing wild flowers in containers where roots cannot spread so far.  

When you do water, water thoroughly. Otherwise your water (and time) will just evaporate and encourage shallow roots that are vulnerable to dry weather. Check when to stop watering by pushing your finger into the soil up to a knuckle. If the soil feels dry, water more but don’t drown your plants, as they don’t grow well in waterlogged soil.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

How can we identify what wild flower seedlings have appeared on our patch?

Answer

Please look through our seedling pics and refer to the handy week-by-week growing calendar on page 17 of your getting started guide. 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed kits 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

Can you send me more free packets of seeds for my group/organisation/event/promotion?

Answer


Grow Wild partnered up with daily newspapers, television and radio to bring flowers to the people for its 2016 seed packet give-away. 

Our seed packet offer for spring sowing has now closed and we are unable to send out any more. However, don’t forget that autumn is also a great time to sow wild flower seeds. Anytime from early September until the end of October is perfect.

Register to receive your free packet in September 2016 at https://sow.growwildseeds.com

If you would like to purchase some seeds, we have provided details of some wild flower seed suppliers.

If you’re a community group interested in getting involved in Grow Wild in the future, please sign up to our newsletter and watch our social media channels for the latest news and updates.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

Can I order more than one packet of free seeds?

Answer

We’re afraid not. We want to ensure that there are plenty to go around, so it’s only one packet per household. You’ll be able to sow an area of up to two square metres with your packet.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

Why is the 2016 seed mix different from the 2015 mix?

Answer

The two mixes differ slightly due to different availability from our suppliers. We’ve listed what’s in each on our wild flower pages

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

I received seeds in 2015 will I get some more automatically?

Answer

To receive seeds in 2016 you need to register again for a free packet - but don't forget, your wild flowers from 2015 should also bloom for the second year this summer.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

When will my seeds arrive?

Answer

If your application for our spring offer was successful, you should have received your seed packet by late April/early May. Please note though, that the free seed packets were subject to availability and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. 

If you haven’t received seeds after 28 days, you may not have been successful, or the address supplied was incomplete, a non-UK residence, or the registration was a duplicate or included a profanity. Our seed packets do, very occasionaly, just get lost in the post. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to follow up on non-delivery of seed packets. 

Autumn is also a great time for sowing wild flower seeds. Registration for our autumn offer has now closed. If your application for autumn seeds was successful should recieve your seeds by the end of October in time for autumn sowing. 

And do sign up for our newsletter so we can keep you posted about other ways to get your hands on Grow Wild seeds.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

Can I have some seeds from another country?

Answer

Our mixes are country-specific with seed of native provenance, so we cannot distribute to other countries. You’ll receive the seed mix selected for the country you live in. 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

Where can I buy wild flower seeds?

Answer

At Grow Wild, we don’t sell wild flower seeds, but they are widely available to buy. Most garden centres and DIY shops have one or more ranges but if you want larger volumes, you might want to go to the suppliers directly, or buy online. But if you would like to purchase some, we have provided details of some wild flower seed suppliers.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

Who can apply for Grow Wild seed packets?

Answer

Anyone over the age of 16 can apply - but do note that you can only register once and stocks are limited so we can’t guarantee that everyone who applies will be successful. 

Registration for 2016 is now closed. 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

How else can I get involved with Grow Wild?

Answer

The most important thing is to get sowing and growing this spring, ready to enjoy your wild flowers this summer. If growing is not for you, get outside and photograph the wild flowers you see, and share them to inspire other Grow Wilders – and check out our creative wild flower-inspired activities. You can also sign up to our newsletter and be the first to find out about news and updates on the campaign.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

Where do my seeds come from?

Answer

The seeds have native provenance and were grown by specialist growers in the country where they’ll be distributed. Landlife supplied the seeds for England and Wales; Scotia Seeds supplied the Scottish seeds and EcoSeeds supplied the mix for Northern Ireland. 

 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

I have a question about the delivery of my seeds. Who can I contact?

Answer

Please email us at hello@growwilduk.com

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

Shouldn’t I have received a confirmation email?

Answer

You will have seen a Grow Wild thank you webpage after completing our registration form, but you won’t receive a separate confirmation email. However, if you are allocated a packet, you will receive an email before the seeds are dispatched.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

In how big an area will I need to sow my seeds?

Answer

It’s really important to give them enough space to thrive, so don’t crowd your seeds. As a rough guide, the seeds in your pack will cover around two square metres.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

What seeds are in the mix?

Answer

Each pack contains a mix of attractive and colourful wild flowers. There are special mixes for England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, and bilingual packs for Wales. Visit our wild flower pages to see the full list and to find out more about the flowers.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

How much do the seeds cost?

Answer

The seeds are free, thanks to the Big Lottery Fund who are supporting Grow Wild, so there is no cost to you.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

Can we save the seeds for later use?

Answer

Yes, but store them in a cool, dark place – and try sowing in autumn 2016 or spring 2017. Grow Wild’s seed have a high viability but bear in mind that this will dip slightly if you save them until 2017.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

Is there corncockle in the mix?

Answer

Yes, we have included corncockle in this year’s England and Wales wild flower seed mix. 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

Can I get a Grow Wild bee house?

Answer

Grow Wild bee houses are included in our special seed kits for community groups, but they’re not available for individuals or to buy. If you’d like to try building your own bee house, check out our Pollinators section.

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

How long can I store my seeds for?

Answer

We recommend that you get cracking as soon as possible this spring. There’s no time like the present and the bees and butterflies will thank you for helping them do their bit in 2016. But if you miss the boat this spring, all is not lost. You can sow them in September or October and they will get a head start on next spring. 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

When is the cut-off date for ordering free seeds?

Answer

The seeds will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registration for seeds in 2016 has now closed. 

F.A.Q. Category

Grow Wild seed packets 2014, 2015 and 2016

Sowing and growing top tips

What soil preparation will I need to do before sowing my seeds?

Answer

Your seeds will thrive best in soil you’ve prepared well - basically dig it over and remove all the plants that will compete with your seeds. Use our tips on preparing your soil

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

I live in the city and don’t have a very big garden; can I sow them in a window box?

Answer

Yes, absolutely. Window boxes can make great homes for wild flowers. It’s easy to keep an eye on them and they look brilliant and brighten up your home when they flower. For ideas on where to sow your wild flower seeds, check out How to pick your site.

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

How do I look after my wild flower patch?

Answer

The most important things to consider are good soil preparation (get digging!) and keeping your patch well-watered, so that the seeds can establish well. As they emerge, weed out any grass that will compete for water and nutrients. Check out Grow Wild's tips on maintaining your wild flower patch.

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

My soil isn’t very good, will my wild flower seeds still germinate?

Answer

Wild flowers are really pretty tough and they have evolved to thrive in poorer soils. They are great survivors and most have been with us since the end of the Ice Age so they have pretty good staying power! It’s the richer soils that can be more of a problem because so many other plants find it attractive. You’ll give your seeds the best start if you prepare your soil well and keep them well-watered, especially in the early stages.

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

Where can I sow my seeds?

Answer

You can sow them in your garden, or in a container on a balcony or in a window box. Or you can be more adventurous and get together with some friends and neighbours and create a bee street, or sow them on an allotment - or even in a public area which needs a bit of love and attention. 

The only things we must insist are that Grow Wild seeds are not sown in or around natural or conservation areas - and you must seek permission from land owners before sowing.

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

When should I sow my Grow Wild seeds?

Answer

We recommend a fine spring day, when your soil is neither too wet nor dry - preferably before mid-May. But if you miss the boat this spring, all is not lost. You can sow them in September or October and they will get a head start on next spring. 

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

What's the difference between annual and perennial wild flowers?

Answer

An annual wild flower is one that germinates, grows, sets its seed and dies in one year. In the Grow Wild mix, the annuals include: corncockle, cornflower, corn marigold, common poppy and corn chamomile. For best results sow fresh seed every year. 

Perennials are ones that grow in their first year, then flower and set seed each year from the second year onwards. Grow Wild perennials include oxeye daisy, hedge bedstraw, meadow buttercup, meadowsweet, red campion and common knapweed. New plants establish readily from freshly fallen seed; so in the autumn, strim your wild flower area once all the seed has fallen, then remove the cuttings so light can reach it. 

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

How often should I water my wild flowers?

Answer

It’s important your wild flowers have their roots in damp soil to grow well, particularly while they’re establishing good roots as seedlings and young plants. You may need to water every few days in hot, dry weather, and water every day if growing wild flowers in containers where roots cannot spread so far.

When you do water, water thoroughly. Otherwise your water (and time) will just evaporate and encourage shallow roots that are vulnerable to dry weather. Check when to stop watering by pushing your finger into the soil up to a knuckle. If the soil feels dry, water more but don’t drown your plants, as they don’t grow well in waterlogged soil. 

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

What soil preparation will I need to do before sowing my seeds?

Answer

Your seeds will thrive best in soil if you’ve prepared it well by digging it over and removing all the plants that will compete with your seeds. Read our tips on preparing your soil.

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

How do I look after my wild flower patch?

Answer

The most important things to consider are good soil preparation (get digging) and keeping your patch well-watered this spring, so that the seeds can establish well.

As they emerge, weed out any grass that competes for water and nutrients. Read our tips on maintaining your wild flower patch.

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

How do I protect our seeds from the birds?

Answer

We recommend that you try making your own bird scarers from CDs or bottles – or make a scarecrow. Don’t forget to watch out for hungry slugs and snails too.

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

Do I need fertiliser?

Answer

It doesn’t matter if your soil isn’t great quality – wild flowers are resilient and tend to do best in poor, infertile soils so forget about using fertiliser. 

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

Can I grow the wild flower seeds indoors?

Answer

You should grow your wild flowers outdoors – remember they grow well in containers, as well as in soil.

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

Do I need a sunny or shady spot to sow my seeds?

Answer

A sunny spot is always the best bet. These seeds have evolved to be at their best in full sun but if your spot has a bit of shade, don’t despair, give them a go and see how they work out.

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

What should I do if the seeds were sown too close together?

Answer

Thin out your seedlings by removing some smaller or weaker plants or by digging up and replanting. However, it’s best to make sure there’s enough space for the plants to flourish when you’re initially sowing your seeds – each seed packet covers up to two square metres.

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

How quickly will my wild flowers bloom?

Answer

We’ve included a handy guide to nurturing your seedlings so you can keep tabs on your plants, but basically you’ll see your plants flowering within 14 to 16 weeks. Remember that you’ll only see the annuals flower this summer; the perennials in the mix won’t flower until next year.

F.A.Q. Category

Sowing and growing top tips

Problems sowing and growing Grow Wild flowers

I didn't get any wild flowers from my Grow Wild seeds - what happened?

Answer

All our seeds are of UK native-origin, with mixtures sourced from commercial native seed producers in England/Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The UK Native Seed Hub, based at RBG Kew’s sister site Wakehurst Place helped develop the mixes, ensure the seed was of UK native-origin and undertook viability testing: all of the species meet the 70% viability requirement - most are considerably higher.

Although Grow Wild chose species able to grow in a wide variety of situations, nature is unpredictable and there are a number of reasons why your seeds may not have produced the flowers you were hoping for. 

Lack of space: each packet of our seeds will cover two square metres and shouldn't be crammed into small spaces.

Buried seeds: Grow Wild seeds should not be buried under soil but sown on the surface.

Lack of water: seeds sit on or very near the surface of the soil, so dry out quickly in warm, dry or windy weather. Make sure you keep the ground moist, particularly after sowing and while the seedlings are establishing. In hot weather, this could mean every day.

Poor soil conditions: seeds germinate best in well-raked, crumbly soil – if the soil is lumpy seed may get buried too deeply, if it is too hard roots will be unable to penetrate the soil. Make sure you prepare a good seed bed, raking the seed into the surface very lightly. If you can’t work your soil easily, try sowing into compost-filled containers instead.

Weeds: vigorous weeds will quickly smother emerging seedlings, particularly if your soil is fertile. Where possible choose a bare, weed-free patch to sow your seeds – skimming off an area of turf or the top few centimetres of soil can help. Weeds can be removed by hand while they are still small – sowing your seeds in a criss-cross of straight lines will make it easier to see what to keep. If all else fails, containers again provide a good alternative.

Slugs and snails: these hungry molluscs can devour huge numbers of emerging seedlings overnight, leaving tell-tale slime trails on the soil. Bare, open sites away from the damp, dark hiding places these creatures love are less seriously affected, and plants grown in containers are much less susceptible.

Dormant seeds: many wild flowers have developed clever mechanisms to prevent their seed germinating until the conditions are just right. Some germinate best in the cool damp of autumn, others in the spring after a thorough winter chill. Patience may be required, particularly if you sowed your seed late in the spring or early summer. You may be surprised what pops up.

Check out Grow Wild's essential sowing and growing tips.

F.A.Q. Category

Problems sowing and growing Grow Wild flowers

I got the 2014 Northern Ireland seed mix and there weren't any annuals in it - why is that?

Answer

All of the seed in the 2014 Northern Ireland mix was sourced and produced in Northern Ireland, as we are keen to support local producers and make sure the Grow Wild packets do not contain any non-native seed. Unfortunately, we were unable to source sufficient quantities of Irish-origin poppies, cornflowers and other annual seed for the Grow Wild packets. Rather than source seed from elsewhere, we worked with our supplier, Ecoseeds, to develop a mix of local-origin biennial and perennial wildflowers designed to perform well in the Northern Irish climate and provide a colourful display over many years. Some of these species – oxeye daisies, for example – may flower in the first year, but you can expect a full display from the second year onwards.

F.A.Q. Category

Problems sowing and growing Grow Wild flowers

Only the corncockle in my Grow Wild seed mix flowered - why was that?

Answer

Your Grow Wild seed pack contains a mix of seeds that will create a varied space if sown in the right conditions. It could have been that when you sowed your seeds, you covered them with too much soil, meaning that only corncockle, which is the largest seed in our mix, had the opportunity to germinate. In the Grow Wild mix, corncockle is also the fastest seed to germinate. 

It's also important that you're patient. If this is your first year of sowing Grow Wild seeds, please bear in mind that the perennials in the mix (find a full explanation here) won’t flower until the second year. In year one, you’ll only see your annuals flower.

F.A.Q. Category

Problems sowing and growing Grow Wild flowers

While digging my wild flower patch I found lots of roots that look like fat white spaghetti. Which plant do they belong to?

Answer

They belong to bindweed (Convolvulus) – a vigorous perennial weed. It has pretty flowers but will strangle anything it grows up. Thoroughly dig through the soil with a garden fork, removing every bit of root you find. A new plant can grow from even a tiny piece of root left behind. Weeding out any shoots that then appear will continue to weaken it, although it’s pretty hard to get rid of entirely.

F.A.Q. Category

Problems sowing and growing Grow Wild flowers

I went away for a couple of weeks and now I have loads of weeds and plants all growing together – help!

Answer

Don’t panic! Identify the weeds and trace the stems down to the ground to pull them out and remove them. Do it gently, don’t rush and don’t worry too much if you accidentally take out a few of your wild flowers at the same time: plants growing close together benefit from thinning and the remaining ones will grow bigger and stronger because of it. You can always try replanting the displaced plants elsewhere and if you miss a few weeds it’s not the end of the world – they may even flower themselves and add to the final effect.

F.A.Q. Category

Problems sowing and growing Grow Wild flowers

Is the corncockle dangerous?

Answer

Professor Monique Simmonds, Director of the Kew Innovation Unit says:

"This plant, like many we have in our gardens, does contain compounds that can be toxic if eaten in large amounts or eaten frequently over a period of time. The toxic compounds are in higher concentrations in the seeds, which are hard and very bitter. If eaten by a child, the child would most likely be sick or complain of a stomach ache. There is no evidence that eating a few seeds would cause acute toxicity. In the past, problems associated with toxicity occurred in Europe when flour contaminated by corncockle seeds were consumed in bread, and this contaminated bread was eaten over a period of time. The fact that there are very few reports about any form of toxicity to humans in other parts of Europe where the plants are more common indicates that although toxic, the plant is not considered a high risk." 

Guy Barter, the Chief Horticultural Advisor to the RHS says:

"Like many garden plants, corncockle (officially called Agrostemma Githago) is potentially harmful especially if consumed. Merely touching this plant is a very low risk indeed. We know of no instances of harm occurring from this plant in gardens, but in historical times cases of poisoning occurred from consuming contaminated bread. Modern agricultural practices have eliminated it from farm crops.

"Like other potentially harmful garden plants, the actual risk of harm is extremely small as a considerable amount of a very acrid (bitter) plant would have to be consumed to cause ill-effect. The usual sensible garden precautions should be followed; refrain from eating any plant not known to be edible, wash hands after working in the garden and before eating or touching lips and eyes, and see that pets and children who cannot be entirely trusted not to consume vegetation are supervised. If these simple precautions are followed there is no reason not to grow this plant.

"Corncockle is a very rare wildflower, but contrary to recent reports has never actually become extinct in Britain, merely hanging on in a very few isolated pockets. Cultivated seed of this plant has been widely sold as a ‘wildflower’ and consequently is not uncommon in gardens. It is a cornfield annual, so it can only grow on disturbed ground. Therefore, it generally has to be sown afresh each year or the ground disturbed to produce its preferred conditions where seed is already present in the soil."

The 2014 and 2016 Grow Wild seed mixes contained a variety of UK native wild flowers, including corncockle. Find out more about potentially harmful garden plants over on the RHS's website

F.A.Q. Category

Problems sowing and growing Grow Wild flowers

I have corncockle growing in my garden - should I dig it up?

Answer

Our advice is that corncockle does not need to be removed from your garden. As Guy Barter, the Chief Horticultural Advisor to the RHS says above:

"Merely touching this plant is a very low risk indeed. Like other potentially harmful garden plants, the actual risk of harm is extremely small as a considerable amount of a very acrid (bitter) plant would have to be consumed to cause ill-effect.

"The usual sensible garden precautions should be followed; refrain from eating any plant not known to be edible, wash hands after working in the garden and before eating or touching lips and eyes, and see that pets and children who cannot be entirely trusted not to consume vegetation are supervised. If these simple precautions are followed there is no reason not to grow this plant."

F.A.Q. Category

Problems sowing and growing Grow Wild flowers

Is it safe to compost corncockle plants and seeds?

Answer

An efficient compost heap will break down any plant material into a material suitable for digging into your soil. There is no reason why the corncockle could not be added to other plant material and composted. The process of composting will break down any organic toxins within the plant material.

F.A.Q. Category

Problems sowing and growing Grow Wild flowers