I know almost nothing about gardening and landscaping so I can really use some advice. In our backyard we had a hillside that was covered with ivy and weeds for years. I finally had it cleared this week and I plan to seed it with wildflower seeds in an effort to draw butterflies and hummingbirds. I haven't measured but I would guess it's about 50' long by 20' deep, and it faces south.
Right now the hillside is just muddy dirt. There's a bit of tree cover overhead, so about half of the hill will be partial shade, the other half will be full sun. The soil is dark brown so I assume it's good for planting.
So I have a few questions for anyone willing to help out:
how should I 'plant' the seeds? should I just toss them around and rake them in?
when should I 'plant' the seeds? do they need to sit in the cold dirt for a few weeks to be 'activated'? or should I just plant them when I'm ready for them to grow (this spring)?
I see on the website where I'm going to order the seeds, the various species have a 'spacing' - usually something like 18". Does this mean I'm supposed to put down one seed per 18"? that seems strange, I want the hillside to be covered in wildflowers
any suggestions on keeping the weeds and ivy from returning? it was cleared using hand tools so I suspect roots etc are waiting to regrow as soon as the weather warms up.
the website I'm ordering from has flower seeds which I can purchase individually, but they also have pre-packaged bundles of various flowers. That seems nice but I was surprised to see the bundle I want (for attracting hummingbirds and butterflies) is 50% grass. Is this wild grass somehow beneficial? should I go for that, or just put down 100% flower seeds?
any suggestions on types of wildflowers? Right now my list is:
- Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata)
- Blanket flower (Gaillardia)
- cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
- Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
- Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster)
- Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)
- Rudbeckia fulgida (Orange Coneflower)
- Monarda didyma (Red Bee Balm)
- Aquilegia canadensis (Wild Columbine)
- Salvia coccinea (Scarlet Sage)
- Salvia farinacea (Blue Sage)