What should I do to establish a field of wildflowers?


rough mulchI own six acres on Islesboro, approximately two acres of which I would like to turn into a field of wildflowers with a few assorted apple trees and the existing birch and ash trees. I have included an image of the property with a key showing the main “environments.” This property was historically a farm for many years (rhubarb, raspberries, blackberries, etc., still grow here), but has over the years became overgrown with Japanese barberry and similar shrubs housing many ticks. I had a section mulched down, but am left with very rough mulch, as you can see from the photo.

I am looking for advice on what type of hay or other growth to use to promote an environment that will need little mowing/bushhogging, and that will provide a good environment for growing wildflowers. Any advice you could provide would be appreciated.


Tori Lee Jackson, Extension Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maine Cooperative Extension Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties

A wildflower and pollinator field is a great idea for this area of your property. Your best bet is going to be choosing native plants, appropriate for our native pollinators, examples are included in Plants for Pollinator Gardens. Check out Bulletin #2500, Gardening to Conserve Maine’s Native Landscape: Plants to Use and Plants to Avoid. You can find additional information and resources at the Wild Seed Project.