Although many gardeners choose to grow from seedlings and plants, growing from seeds is also a popular way to garden. An often overlooked method, growing plants from seeds is a practical, and often more economical, way to begin a garden. Fruits, vegetables, flowers and other plants can grow just as well when you start them yourself as seeds.
Sweet corn comes in many varieties, some with white kernels, yellow kernels or both. The seeds themselves are actually corn kernels. When purchasing sweet corn seed, the packets may be labeled with an abbreviation detailing the type of corn inside. Normal, sugar-enhanced and super-sweet varieties are widely available. In spring when the ground temperature reaches at least 50F degrees, plant the seeds in rich, moist soil. The soil may require fertilizer, depending upon its condition. Compost and manure are both helpful additives. Sweet corn seeds will germinate a few days from planting, although some varieties germinate sooner than others. Some varieties prefer colder ground temperatures, while others prefer warmer temperatures. Consistent moisture is important and the corn may need regular watering, especially during hot, dry weather. The corn is ready to harvest when the kernels excrete a milky substance when punctured. You can save kernels from the crop to plant next season.
Most often, sunflowers are found in garden centers as packets of seeds. The seeds themselves look the same as the sunflower seeds you buy to eat: small and striped black and white. The variety you plant is a matter of your preference, and there are many different types. Some varieties, like Teddy Bear, do not grow very tall, while others, like Russian Giant, grow to be much taller. No matter the variety, sunflower seeds require the same care when planting. After the last frost, plant seeds 1 inch deep in an area of full sun. This is especially important with the larger varieties, as they may shade other flowers and plants if planted in partially sunny or shady areas. Water them well and the seeds will germinate in a few days. The ideal ground temperature for germination is around 50F degrees. In the late summer to early fall, the sunflowers will have produced seeds that you can harvest and eat, or save for next year's garden.
Marigold flowers grow orange, yellow, red or bicolored blooms. The blooms die off and leave way for pods of long, thin, white seeds with gray or black tips. Plant these seeds--or seeds you bought in the store--in moist soil, with a light covering of grainy vermiculite. Keep the soil consistently moist while the seeds germinate, which occurs three to five days from planting in 75F- to 80F-degree soil temperatures. Save marigold seeds from one year to the next by storing them in a cool, dry location.