Flower plants are becoming more expensive all the time. It has gotten to the point that filling your yard with annuals each spring has become a major expense that can be afforded less and less. Starting your own flower seeds will save you a lot of money and is not that difficult when you have a few tips to get you started.
Seeds shouldn't be planted in the ground until all frost danger is gone in your area. For some warm climate areas, this is not a problem. However, in short growing season locations, where the warmth of spring and summer months are not very long, pre-seeding indoors may be the answer for getting older flower plants into the garden. Start with just a few seed containers in a warm window space. If you find it works well for you, consider a small green house for next year. There are special peat pots and sectioned containers made just for pre-seeding. However, empty food containers or paper cups work just as well. Purchase a bag of potting soil and fill your containers. Follow the directions on your seed packet for depth of planting. Keep the soil moist and warm.
Don't plant your seeds or flower plants before all threat of frost is gone in your area. You should always follow the flower seed packet directions for the depth the seed should be planted. However, a good rule to seed by is that the seed should be planted the depth that it is long. Very small or fine seeds can be tricky to plant. Don't plant them on a windy day or you they may blow away. Tear a small hole in the flower seed packet corner and tap the packet so the seeds come out slowly. Seeds must be kept moist while germinating.
Some flower seeds will germinate quicker with pre-treating. There are flower seeds with a hard coating that benefit from soaking them in warm water for 24 hours, such as lupine and passion flower. The water should be very warm (about 190 degrees F) and should cover the seeds. However, you never want to heat them on the stove, as this could damage the seed. Pre-soaking will soften the seed, making it more susceptible to allowing water in so it can germinate. Another way to soak seeds is to dampen a paper towel with warm water. Place the seeds, single file, on the paper towel. Fold the paper towel with the seeds inside. Place it in a plastic sandwich bag and leave it in diffused sunlight, such as on your kitchen counter or the top of the refrigerator, for 24 hours, and then plant the seeds.