Every spring trays of flowers appear in front of almost every store and gardeners around the country buy up dozens of six packs to fill the beds around our homes but with a little planing and preparation you can grow a garden of flowers for about 10% of the cost of store bought flower packs.
The good thing about growing your own flowers is that you have a much wider selection of plants you can try.
Seeds are available early in spring to allow you to prepare your starter packs.
If you have a vegetable garden you should have easy access to some quality soil that you can use. I suggest that you cut in about 50% peat moss with your soil to allow your starter plants easy absorption of nutrients and fast root growth.
Some gardeners prefer to use potting soil to start new seeds but the problem with potting soil is that it has not nutrients so you have to add liquid fertilizer. This is fine in a limited number of plants that require sterile soil to germinate but most seeds will do just fine in general purpose soil found in your garden.
Another option for starting seeds is to plant them in peat moss discs that you can purchase at your garden center. This is not a bad option if you can find a discounted tray with a full set of discs.
I was able to pickup a tray this year at a local retail store for about $7 that had 96 discs and a plastic cover to act as a green house. Still though this is a lot more expensive then going out to the garden and filling up some saved trays with soil.
Planting Flower Seeds in Trays
I have found that it is a lot easier to plant your seeds after you have given the soil filled trays a good watering.
Although this can be a little messy if you are working in your shed or garage its a better solution because the first filling of soil will settle quite a lot and you want your seeds as close to the top of the planters to catch the sun once they germinate.
This means you fill the planters, water them and then refill to about a 1/4″ of the top so you can plant your seeds and cover them lightly.
Normally I plant 2 or 3 seeds to each planter cell.
By over planting you have the ability to take out weak plants and you won’t be stuck with a cell that has no growth.
Germination of Flower Seeds in Trays
It normally takes between 8 and 14 days before you see any growth.
If this is your first time you may feel as if nothing is going to grow but if you keep the soil moist you should see growth within 2 weeks.
Temperature is also important. Most seeds like about 70F to germinate but it is possible to move your plants indoors at night to maintain a good temperature.
It is not necessary to use grow lights on your seedlings under most circumstances.
If you are putting your plants out in the morning and moving them inside that should be enough but if you are growing in your basement you will need to setup some type of grow light system.
Growing your own Plants from Seed is Easy and saves you Money
The biggest benefit of growing your own plants will be cost savings.
The second benefit is the variety of plants you can grow that may not be available at your local garden center.
You should begin your seedlings about 4 to 6 weeks before you expect to plant. Outdoor temperatures must be over 40F at night and there can be no risk of frost.