Five Flowers That Anyone Can Grow From Seed
Flowers are fun and lively space brighteners. Gardens look much more appealing with some color and life, but many people worry that they can't grow flowers because they don't know anything about gardening. General knowledge of gardening isn't a prerequisite for having flowers in your yard, though. There are some flowers that anyone can grow. Several flowers are so easy to grow that all you have to do is plant the seeds and water them.
Everyone is familiar with the big, yellow bloom of a classic sunflower. They make a fantastic addition to any backyard or garden. Whether you plant the tall type that typically produces a single bloom or the branching type that produces several blooms, these popular flowers are easy to grow.
Sunflowers grow best in full sun. Plant the seeds 10mm deep and 20cm apart in early spring or after the lasts frosts of the season. Keep the soil moist, but not overly wet. Sprouts should start to show in 7-12 days. After your new flowers have sprouted, continue to keep the ground moist. Sunflowers are fairly drought tolerant but will have larger blooms if watered regularly.
Marigolds add pops of fiery color to yards all over the country. They come in many shades of yellow, orange, red, and combinations thereof. The best thing about marigolds is how quickly they usually sprout. This makes them the perfect plant for the kind of person who wants to see results quickly.
Marigolds are another flower that prefers full sun. As a bonus, they are tolerant of extreme heat. Loosen up the soil with a spade, moisten it, and drop marigold seeds about one inch apart on top. Cover the seeds lightly with soil and tap it down a bit. Seedlings should start to show themselves within a matter of a few days if the temperatures are warm. Keep the soil moist.
Cosmos are great because they will grow in soil of almost any quality. Even in the worst dirt, cosmos seem to survive. If the soil is particularly sandy, you may have to water a little more often. There is a large selection of colors to choose from, and cosmos often come in packets of assorted colors for those who can't decide.
Plant cosmos seeds about 6mm deep and 30cm apart in moist soil. They like to be in areas that get full sun. Don't plant cosmos until all chance of frsots has passed. If you live in a particularly hot and dry region, cosmos do well with partial shade. Cover the seeded area with some sort of shading material until sprouts appear if you live in such a climate. Cosmos seeds take about two weeks to sprout.
Zinnias come in a wider variety of colors than any of the flowers mentioned here. Bright red, muted peach, vibrant purple, sunny orange, and lime green are only a few of the colors available. Zinnias are also extremely drought tolerant flowers. Blooms may be small if not watered regularly, but zinnias can often survive on summer rain, alone. Blooms get quite large when the dirt is kept moist.
Plant zinnias in loosened, moist soil anytime after there is no longer a possibility of frost. Cover them very loosely with no more than 6mm of soil because zinnias require light for the seeds to germinate. Expect sprouts quickly as they should appear in 4-7 days. Zinnias will often bloom until late autumn.
One of the great things about nasturtiums is that they do not need particularly fertile soil. In fact, they produce more blooms in poor soil. These flowers bloom in a range of warm colors. They can grow from 15-60cm tall, depending on spacing. If you plant the seeds closer together (~25cm), the plants will stay short and make good bedding plants. If you plant them further apart (~50cm), the plants will grow much taller and make for good trellising plants. As an interesting bonus, nasturtium helps to control pests naturally.
Plant nasturtium seeds approximately 12mm deep and 40cm apart in full sun to partial sun. If you live in a very hot climate, nasturtiums appreciate some afternoon shade. The seeds will germinate more reliably if they have been soaked in warm water for no more than 24 hours immediately prior to planting. Water the newly planted seeds thoroughly. Sprouts should be seen within 7-10 days.
There is no reason you can't have flowers in your yard or garden when there are varieties that are so easy to grow. Don't be intimidated. Having flowers can be as easy as planting seeds and watering them. With a few dollars and a little bit of time, you could have flowers blooming all over the place this summer.
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