A Beautiful Garden from Seed

A Beautiful Garden from Seed

150 150 jcharlow


Planting flowers from seed is not only a rewarding experience but also an economical one. If you do not have a space in your garden to create a flowerbed, you certainly can do your seed planting in pots.

When choosing your seed packages, be sure to check the back of the package for the date to make sure you are purchasing fresh seed. The date should either be the current year or the upcoming year. The seed package will also have information on it such as planting depth, spacing, and germination time. All of this information will help you become a more successful seed gardener.

Before planting the seed, check the seed package for the correct planting depth. Different seeds may require different planting depths.

When do I plant? For a spring flower show (this includes wildflowers), plant your seeds around the middle of October. The seeds will germinate within two (2) weeks and grow more slowly as the temperatures drop. Generally, you will not have any blooms until early spring. For a summer flower show, plant your seeds at the beginning of May. The seeds will germinate quickly and grow rapidly from there.

Planting in the ground. Remember that your flowers would like to have at least 5 – 6 hours of sun each day. Generally, a location with morning sun and afternoon shade works the best. Loosen the soil to a depth of about 12 inches, adding mulch to your loosened soil. You want to end up with a bed that consists of ½ existing soil and ½ mulch. Level the soil and begin planting.

Planting in pots. When planting seeds in a pot, you can either use seedling mix or a light, well-draining potting soil. Be sure to choose a pot that has a hole in the bottom for drainage.

Watering. Whether planting in October or May, be sure to water your seeds and seedlings daily. In October you can begin to water less frequently as the temperatures cool. In May, the seeds must continue to get daily watering through the summer.

Fertilizing. Do not fertilize your seedlings until about one (1) month after planting. Osmocote is an easy, effective choice for this.

Seeds to plant in October:

  • Alyssum
  • Bachelor Button
  • Calendula
  • Daisies (all varieties including Daisies)
  • Flax
  • Hollyhocks
  • Larkspur
  • Lobelia
  • Lupine
  • Nasturtium
  • Pansies
  • Petunias
  • Penstemon
  • Poppies
  • Snapdragon
  • Stock
  • Sweet Peas
  • Viola

Seeds to plant in May:

  • Celosia
  • Coleus
  • Coreopsis
  • Cosmos
  • Echinacea
  • Gaillardia
  • Gomphrena
  • Gourds
  • Impatiens
  • Marigolds (better planted in early April)
  • Rudbeckia
  • Salvia
  • Sunflowers (stagger the planting of these for continuous summer bloom)
  • Vinca
  • Zinnias

Harlow Gardens
5620 E. Pima Street
Tucson, AZ 85712