Sunlight on Your Site
While you are walking around the site of your future meadow have a look up at the sky. Where does the sun rise? Is this a sunny area or is it partly shaded?
Wildflower meadows require open sites that receive a minimum half day of full sun with good air circulation. Be mindful of your site’s topography:
* South-facing slopes receive more sun than ground level, resulting in hotter, drier soils that are well-suited to wildflower meadows.
* West-facing slopes are hotter and drier than ground level due to westerly winds and the hot afternoon sun. These sites are also ideal for meadows.
* East-facing slopes receive morning sun and easterly winds making them good candidates for meadows.
* North-facing slopes are not good sites for wildflower meadows. They are protected from the sun and therefore stay cool and moist compared to other slopes and ground level.
Meadows will also do well when planted on south, west, or east sides of buildings if the site receives the appropriate amount of sun. North sides of buildings are too shady for most wildflowers.
If you have trees in the area that you'd like to grow your a meadow, be conscious of the shade created by each tree. Many flowers require several hours of light each day in order to bloom but there are native grass species (including Northern Sea Oats, Bottlebrush Grass, Virginia Wild Rye, Sweetgrass, and Junegrass) that will thrive in partly shaded conditions.