It seemed that when I was interested in planting wildflowers last fall that I was a day late and a dollar short! Many of the seeds required a cold storage period to break the dormancy period. So it is now the first of February here in Michigan, zone 5b, and snow is still on the ground. I think it would be a perfect time to broadcast some seed upon the snow in order to break the dormancy period before the warming spring sunshine starts germination in April.
It seems that all the purveyors of wild flower seed suggest a "prepared plot" of ground for germination. Now all the fields around me that have laid fallow for many years only growing weeds and grass could certainly benefit with a broadcasting of wildflower seed as well as my bees. Remember again that these fields are not owned by me so the use of a tractor and disc is not an option.
I'm perfectly content in playing "Johnny Appleseed" and broadcasting seed in these fallow fields. Unfortunately I don't have the knowledge regarding wildflowers and what seed variety would work best for this idea. The only seed that I've had any luck with is the Dutch clover broadcast in my lawn, and some white and yellow sweet clover broadcast along the gravel ditches of the country roads around me. And even that seed I believe is bi-annual.
I do have an interest in the small corn flowers (Centaurea cyanus) but have no clue as to if this seed would lend itself to free broadcasting among fallow fields.
Now I know that some of you are probably asking yourself, why isn't he planting trees instead of a few flowers? Well at 66 I'm in the twilight of my years and won't be around to see a nice Basswood tree come to maturity. So I have to be satisfied with what I can do in the wildflower department. I'm sure the small amount of seed sown doesn't make a difference, but it's just the principle of the effort to help the bees.
So I guess I'm looking for a wildflower expert to answer some questions.
What wildflower varieties would be best for broadcasting onto existing fields without any ground preparation?
How about my current time frame and broadcasting onto the snow in order to break a dormancy period? And since the established weeds and grass have not started growing as yet, perhaps the wildflower seed will have a chance to germinate among these plants before they grow too tall and choke out the wildflowers?
Is the broadcasting of wildflower seed onto established fields a waste of time and money due to the rate of germination being so low?
So to those of you who reply, thank you! Even though my idea and efforts may be in vain, it does give a beekeeper a warm feeling to think that his efforts are beneficial to his bees, even if its not!