Growing plants from seed can take some practice.
Annuals and perennials are both available in seed form, but in the case of annual seeds merchants have a far greater range of plants available over buying them already germinated at a nursery. Learn seed starting tips for planting both inside and outside.
Seed packages come with no guarantees and do require maintenance. For example, seeds may not take, some will become squirrel food, others will transfer to a new location while many remain viable for years without germinating - just as weed seeds do.
For those new to planting seeds it may bring cost down
to provide both store bought germinated flowers while
learning to sow seeds. This way those growing from seed
to plant will look fuller along side the store bought flowers.
The benefits of using seeds:
Seeds are available in:
The ground must be receptive to sowing seeds. With well packed, well established soil seeds have a tough time getting through germination. If you just spread them they're up against well established weeds and their root systems.
Prepare the soil as you
would when planting flowers purchased from plant nurseries. Getting rid of weeds and their seeds the best as
require a full season of tilling to be eliminated before planting any
flower seeds. Once this task is done it is possible to have hundreds of seeds germinating from one packet.
Once soil is ready seeds can be planted both in spring and fall. In the spring if they are placed outside while temperatures are rising, have weed control fabric or a sheet to place over newly sprouted seedlings if expecting any end of season frosts. Don't use plastic as this could kill
new baby plants.
It can be better to plant perennial seeds in fall. Seeds of many perennial require the dormant late fall planting giving exposure to damp, cold temperatures before germination.
You may also opt for starting seeds indoors. Seed starting supplies can include:
Containers at least 3" deep and have a hole in the bottom for water drainage:
Seed starting mixes:
Place seed starting mix in large bucket and start adding water. Don't make mix soggy. Place potting mix in individual containers. If using one larger container use a pencil or other object to run a furrow in soil up to 3/4" deep, no deeper. Another option place the edge of a board in soil to create one long furrow. Place individual seeds about an inch apart.
Important ingredients for success when growing plants from seed:
Placing plastic over container will create a greenhouse effect
where moisture and warmth are retained.
Depending on the plant seeds germinate anywhere from 5-14 days, some later. Once small plants appear move light farther out. Temperatures at this point can be cooler starting at 70 degrees.
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