Easy Annuals From Seed
Easy Annuals From Seed
Designed by Brenda Hyde
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It is a wonderful feeling to be able to care for something and watch it grow! Let's start with flowers that are very easy to grow from seed. Be sure to water the seeds gently right after you plant them.
Nasturtium:These are fun to grow from seed for children! You can plant the large seeds outside as soon as the heavy frosts are past. We plant ours in April when it warms up. If you plant them in the ground leave 12 inches of space between each seed. Plant the seed in a small hole about 1 inch deep, and cover it with soil. Plant a row as long or short as you have room for. If you want to, you may also plant them in a container, but put them closer together. We used the Jewel Mixed Colors, but there are many varieties and they all work well. One package usually has about 20 or 25 seeds.They will pop out of the ground in about a week. They are slow to start but will fill out and grow quickly once they get started. Keep the Nasturtiums well watered at all times; especially if you are not getting a lot of rain. The blooms have a peppery taste and can be used in salads.
Calendula: This flower is also known as a Pot Marigold. They are pretty yellow-orange, daisy like flowers, and are VERY easy to grow. You can plant them as soon as you can work the soil; even if it is still cold! Space the seeds about 8 inches apart, and plant one inch deep. They will take about 10 days to start growing. Calendulas will keep blooming all summer long if you keep cutting off the old ones. In the early fall you can stop cutting them and they will form seeds that you can put away in envelopes for next year! They are also known as a self seeder, which means if you leave some of the seeds on the plant they will fall to the ground and pop up next year. You simply thin the ones you don't want and leave the rest to grow. Once you grow these, you won't have to buy seeds again, and you will also have plenty to give away to friends.
Thumbelina Zinnia: Zinnias come in all sizes and colors, and they are all planted the same way. We like the Thumbelinas because they are a shorter and smaller variety. You must wait until it is warm outside before you plant the Zinnia seeds. They do not tolerate even a light frost. Plant the seeds 8 to 10 inches apart. You may have to thin the seedlings later if they are too close. Zinnia's like to have space so the air can flow around their leaves. They need lots of sun too, so plant in an area with full sun. If you give them what they need they will grow and bloom until the first frost in the fall. Be sure to cut them for small bouguets as they bloom, and this will help them keep blooming until fall.
Other Easy Flowers to Grow
Bachelor's Button: This is also known as a Cornflower. They are easy to grow, but also need lots of sun. Plant them about 6 to 8 inches apart, and one inch deep. When they start blooming make sure you pick off the dead ones so they will bloom until fall. They can be cut and hung to dry to be used in dried flower arrangements.
Borage: This is really an herb, and it needs lots of room, but we wanted to list it in case you had a big pot or a larger sunny spot. One plant needs about 12 inches all the way around. It leaves are large and it has dainty blue flowers which come up from the center of the leaves. It is edible too! The young leaves can be used in salads and herbal recipes. The flowers can be used as cake decorations.
Moss Roses: These are known as Portulacas. The colors are brilliant, and the plant sets on the ground with the flowers trailing. They do not need care once started; just occasional watering. They work well for containers or window boxes too. After your last frost, prepare your soil by working it so it is loose and sprinkle the seeds on the area you want them to grow. Lightly cover with some extra soil, and water well, but gently. Be sure to mark the area, so you will remember they are planted. They are slow to start, but really take off later! These are great for areas that are rather dry.
Image 1: Wikimedia.org
Image 2: Brenda Hyde