How to Direct Sow Flower Seeds


Direct sowing refers to the process of planting seeds directly into garden soil. For quick-growing flowers, direct sowing is preferred, as it eliminates the need to transplant seedlings to the garden at the proper time. Some plants, such as petunias and perennial flowers, benefit from starting seeds inside in late winter because of their need for a long growing season. If your growing season is long enough, nearly any flower will thrive with direct sowing.

Step 1

Till soil to a depth of 8 to 10 inches. Remove rocks, roots and other debris from the soil.

Step 2

Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost or well-rotted manure over the soil. Work it into the soil with a garden tiller or hand tools.

Step 3

Check the back of the seed packet to find the proper depth and spacing for your specific seeds. Plant seeds twice the depth of the diameter of the seed if seed-depth information is not available,

Step 4

Sprinkle small hard-to-see seeds over the soil and press into the soil by hand. Mixing fine seeds with sand makes sowing easier.

Step 5

Firm the soil down by hand to secure seeds and remove air pockets.

Step 6

Water with the mist attachment on your hose to moisten the seeds. Keep soil evenly moist until seedlings appear.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden tiller
  • Compost/manure
  • Hand tools (rake, hoe, claw)
  • Flower seeds


  • Ohio State University Extension: Plant Propagation
  • North Carolina State University Extension: Starting Plants from Seeds

Who Can Help

  • Penn State Extension: Sowing Annual Seeds
Keywords: direct sow seeds, direct sow flowers, plant seeds

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.