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Any advice on how to start a perennial flower garden from seed?

Posted by Soul_Flower South Carolina (My Page) on
Wed, May 25, 11 at 19:19

After trial and error and tons of research I finally got the hang of starting seeds (mainly vegetables) indoors and have been very successful. However I haven't had much luck starting seeds outdoors. I am wanting to start a perennial garden along my front walkway but have no idea what the proper steps are for directly sowing flower seeds. My flower beds have already been prepared I was wondering what I have to do to protect and care for the seeds and seedlings so that they will grow to hardy plants and not die. And what are some good planting methods that will insure my success. Should I plant the seeds where I want them to grow or should I create a nursery bed and transplant them.I live in South Carolina and my garden will have very hot full sun for the entire day. I have attempted to grow from seed outdoors before but for some reason the flowers never did germinate. I am open to any ideas and advice

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Any advice on how to start a perennial flower garden from see

  • Posted by morz8 Z8 Wa coast (My Page) on
    Wed, May 25, 11 at 20:52

We'd need to know seeds for specifically which plants - 'perennials' covers too much territory ;)

Many (although not all by any means) will germinate best at cooler temperatures than what you may be having now, some will require a period of moist chill before they will germinate. You could post again with what you had in mind, or check the database linked for sowing suggestions - it's reliable.

Here is a link that might be useful: Clothiers

RE: Any advice on how to start a perennial flower garden from see

Soul Flower, Go to ang learn how to have all the plants you ever dreamed of. I did this for the first time this year and I have a deck full of seedlings- perennials and annuals (100s). Although it is too late for "winter" sowing you can use the same methods for "spring" and "summer" sowing. I sowed foxglove 3 weeks ago using a milk jug with extra air vents for the hotter weather and I have hundreds of seedlings. Then go to the GW winter sowing forum and see what everyone else has done. Linda Jo

RE: Any advice on how to start a perennial flower garden from see

Buy enough seeds that you can experiment (say from Geoseed).
Plant at different times of the year.
Plant seeds as they would reseed in nature. In other words when do they drop their seed? (usually spring, summer, maybe, maybe the fall).
Most seeds just drop to the ground. Most are exposed to the sun; some drop under the mother plant, thus need shade to germinate but that is not as common.
Give your seed looser soil so they have a fair chance to shot their roots into the ground. (Ants can carry off seeds.)
Consider where a plant orginates. Always plant 25% more varieties then you need to make up for those that do not germinate. Don't count your chickens before they hatch. Feel lucky if you get some seedlings from each variety. Plant seeds in 1 ft squares. Then move them.
A neighbor walked passed the yard today and told my wife that she will start a garden next year to compete with my flower gardens. I know I had a puzzled look on my face when my wife told me. She thought I didn't like the challenge. I told my wife, no I would be glad to help guide this neighbor anyway I can. The weird look I gave her was because I didn't really plant the speculator parts of our garden. The plants planted themselves. No one could have a garden like this unless they introduced self seeders and let the plants plant themselves over the years.
My role is to keep them under control and move the seedlings around so that they are organized.
Example, I have some amazing vincas this year. No, not from the 6 varieties of seeds I bought, but from a fluke Cora Vinca who should not reseed, but did. I moved her seedlings all over the garden. The different colors and size of bloom are breathtaking to me. That's one example. Another is Guaras which look really great in a garden. I tryed to plant them from seed; had no luck. A plant I bought on the discount rack at Lowes reseeded at it's perfect time. Now I have self-planted guaras every year.
Incidentally the down side of having a garden of reseeders is that you really can't disturb the soil much or you will bury the seeds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Geoseed

RE: Any advice on how to start a perennial flower garden from see

I like to sow my perenneil seeds in fall. As long as they are about 8" tall by the frost. I have better results usually then early spring starts. It does depend on what you are trying to grow... I have has success with Digitalis, Hollyhocks, Wormwood, O. Poppies, Pesteomon, Primula, Geranium, Texas Hummingbird Sage, and Campanula. To name a few off the top of my head.

I just start the seeds outside in small pots. In a sheltered area. And transplant when I get around 4 true leaves. Have fun!

RE: Any advice on how to start a perennial flower garden from see

If you want lots of plants, I agree with the above poster to get ready to do wintersowing. You will have more plants than you can believe -- just check the Wintersowing forum on this site.

RE: Any advice on how to start a perennial flower garden from see

Third vote for winter sowing. It's fun, easy, you can trade for seeds via the Seed Exchange right here on GardenWeb.

December 2010

June 2011

Sprouts in the photo include rudbeckia, blackberry lily, Echinacea, blue flax, balloon flower, salvia, gaillardia, dianthus, toad lily, globe flower, phlox, penstemon, lupine, false indigo, columbine & lavender, just to name a few.

RE: Any advice on how to start a perennial flower garden from see

Yes! Winter Sow. It works.


RE: Any advice on how to start a perennial flower garden from see

Hi, I have an enormous perennial garden. It is about twenty feet wide by forty feet long. At first I just thew in a few packages of perennial seed mix in the extra large package from the local department store. The first few years the garden was spectacular. The soil in my yard is very alkaline becuase I have a pond and I live near a lake. I have planted many perennials over the past six years and have had some die off because of the soil. I am now tryng to amend the soil with aluminum sulfate and other fertilizers that prevent weed growth and encourage my chosen perennial growth. It's a science. Since fertilizing and testing the soil, I have had better luck maintaining the already existing plants in my garden. Seed sowing in the spring before weed emergence is key, I think. You are in a great zone for perennials and can choose from many varieties. Large clumping varieties do best in perennial gardens. The help to control weed growth. I have many clumping varieties such as delphiniums, foxglove, lupine,veronica, bee balm, just to name a few. I have lots of peonies in my perennial garden, they fair better than roses in my zone and die back to the ground every year.Perennials are old friends that always come back each year no matter what!

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