How to Sow Flowers

Overview

Sowing flowers for your garden beds ensures bright color and texture in your yard through spring, summer and fall. Flowers come primarily in annual varieties which must be replanted each year and perennial varieties that return year after year, with a few biennials that take two years to complete their life cycle. Most garden flowers are sown from seed indoors in spring, with a few growing from perennial bulbs that are sown in either fall or spring.

Seeds

Step 1

Fill individual seed starting pots or trays with a sterile potting mixture. Mix your own growing medium by combining 1 part peat moss, 1 part sterilized compost and 1 part vermiculite.

Step 2

Moisten the soil in the pots so that it is evenly moist throughout but not soaking wet. Moisten either after or before you place it in the pots.

Step 3

Sow two seeds per pot, or plant flower seeds in rows 3 inches apart in trays. Sow medium and large seeds to a depth twice that their diameter, and sow small seeds directly on the soil surface and cover with an 1/8 inch layer of vermiculite.

Step 4

Cover the containers with a plastic bag and place in a 65 F room to germinate. Most flowers take between seven and 21 days to germinate, refer to seed packet for exact timing.

Step 5

Remove the plastic bags once seedlings surface. Place in a warm, well lit window or under grow lights. Keep soil moist until you transplant the flowers to the garden or to their permanent plants.

Bulbs

Step 1

Prepare a well-drained garden bed in full sun in fall for spring flowering bulbs or spring for summer flowering varieties. Lay a 3 inch layer of compost over the bed and till it in to a 10 inch depth with a hoe to improve drainage and soil quality.

Step 2

Sow each bulb to a depth three times its width. Plant in the ground with the root side down. Plant rhizomes, roots and other bulb-like structures so the growing eyes are on top.

Step 3

Space small bulbs 2 to 3 inches apart and larger bulbs 6 inches apart. Plant in clusters as opposed to rows.

Step 4

Water the garden bed well after sowing the flower bulbs. Cover in a 3-inch layer of organic mulch to preserve soil temperature and moisture.

Tips and Warnings

  • Too much moisture and not enough light will lead to a fungus that causes the flower seedlings to dampen-off, or wilt and die.

Things You'll Need

  • Pots
  • Peat moss
  • Vermiculite
  • Compost
  • Plastic bags
  • Grow lights
  • Mulch

References

  • University of Missouri Extension: Starting Plants From Seeds
  • University of Illinois Extension: Bulbs and More--Planting and Care
Keywords: sowing flowers, planting bulbs, growing flower seeds

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.