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How to Plant Seeds for Spring Flowers

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How to Plant Seeds for Spring Flowers

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After a long, cold winter, the first spring flowers that bloom can lift spirits and help to eliminate those winter doldrums. Employ a couple of different methods to achieve the boost of color by planting seeds in the fall or winter. When planting in the fall, scatter mainly wildflower seeds in areas that you want turned into flower beds. Seeds planted in the winter will have to be started indoors in flats or pots.

Planting Seeds in Fall

Step 1

Pull all weeds in the area(s) to be dedicated to flower beds.

Step 2

Dig compost and other organic materials such as peat moss, fallen leaves, sawdust, wood chips and other chopped up plant parts into the planting area. Mix 1 part organic matter to 4 parts topsoil.

Step 3

Broadcast wildflower seeds and other seeds that are appropriate for fall planting over the cleared and amended area. Cover with additional soil-compost mix according to the seed's label instructions. Plant seeds about twice as deep as the size of the seed as a general rule.

Step 4

Water the planted area to keep it moist throughout the winter if rains are scarce. Keep weeds cleared, but take care not to weed out newly-sprouted flowers.

Step 5

Thin the young flowering plants when they are about 2 inches tall. Refer to seed packet instructions for the recommended amount of room between individual plants.

Planting Seeds in Winter

Step 1

Fill nursery flats or pots with standard potting soil.

Step 2

Plant flower seeds in flats or pots according to seed packet instructions. Water until it comes out of the drainage holes.

Step 3

Place flats or pots in a warm, indoor spot that receives sunlight at least six hours each day. Hang fluorescent shop lights or special grow lights several inches above your pots or flats as an alternative to natural light. Keep the lights on for about 12 hours each day.

Step 4

Water the flower seeds to keep the soil moist but not soggy.

Step 5

Thin seedlings to 2 inches apart when they are about 2 inches tall. Transplant the young flowering plants to a garden with the amended soil area after the final spring frost.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Flats or pots
  • Sunny indoor space
  • Potting soil
  • Plant saucers or plastic
  • Fluorescent shop light (optional)


  • Pennsylvania State Univerrsity: Department of Horticulture
  • Weekend Gardener: Horticulture for Busy People
  • Flower Gardening Made Easy: Flower Gardening From the Ground Up
Keywords: spring flowers, starting seeds, gardening annuals

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.

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