It is possible to have a perfectly lovely flower garden of annuals all summer by planting seeds outdoors.
Several kinds can be planted as early in the spring as you canget the ground prepared. These flower seeds not only endured cold but in some cases won't even germinate unless it is cool.
By planting early, they have a chance to get established so they can go ahead and bloom as soon as the weather warms up.
The soil should not be too wet, of course, at time of preparation and planting.
Early planting is recommended for sweet peas, wallflower, annual chrysanthemum, African daisy, California poppy, Larkspur, annual lupine, Shirley poppy, stocks, verbena and arctotis.
Early planting is recommended also for sweet alyssum, candytuft, bachelor's button, phlox, Virginia stock and calendula, but they can be planted later in the season also.
Some kinds are a problem to move after they have come up, and it is best to plant them where they are to grow.
The seeds of some flowers should not be planted outdoors until the ground is thoroughly warm. Even if the seed germinate, the plants will be stunted by cool weather. This includes zinnia, amaranthus, celosia, sunflower, morning glory, marigold, portulaca, tithonia torch and periwinkle.
Sometimes seeds don't sprout. Usually it is because they were planted too deep or else perished because of This includes California-poppy, larskpur, lupine and sweetpeas.
Others can be moved easily as the occasion demands. This includes alyssum, Calendula, phlox, stocks and verbena.
While the ground is still cold but danger of frost is fairly slight, you can plant seeds of aster, ageratum, anchusa, bells of Ireland, sweet sultan, clarkia, cosmos mandarin delphinium (bedding type), diarthus, annual gailardia, baby's breath, annual hollyhock, nasturtium, petunia, scabiosa and statice.
moisture irregularity. Read the directions on the seed packet and follow them closely.
A seed contains an embryonic plant and a supply of food for it, surrounded by a protective coat.To germinate, it must be viable (the embryo must be alive and capable of germination), temperature favorable, there must be oxygen and enough but not too much moisture.
Deep planting is unfavorable for germination, first, because the supply of oxygen may be restricted, and second, the seedling may not be able to reach the surface before its supply of food is exhausted.
Seeds planted too early in the spring may rot because the soil is too cold and damp, while those planted too shallow in the summer may fail to sprout because it is difficult to keep them constantly moist. The soil surface dries out rapidly during dry weather.
Seeds have great absorbing power; in fact in storage, seeds can absorb moisture from the surrounding air. That is why it is so important to store them in a dry place.
A fluffy soil adds to the moisture problem because it dries out so much faster then well-tilled settled soil.
Very small seeds that should be merely dusted on the soil are particularly hard to keep moist because the soil surface dries out so quickly.
Too much water is as bad as too little because the soil becomes waterlogged. A moist surface over a dry soil is bad because germination is encouraged and the roots die when they fail to find moisture.
Some kinds of seeds naturally germinate more rapidly than others. Soaking seeds of peas, beans, corn and celery in water to speed germination can be done, but it is risky. If kept in water after the seeds swell, or if planted in soil too wet, decay is likely to occur, or if the soil is too dry, they perish.