How to grow flowers from seeds
Many flowers are easy to grow from seed. Try and use fresh seed each year for the best germination results. Annual flowers like nasturtiums and poppies need resowing each year, or will self-seed effectively if you leave the seed heads intact after flowering. You’ll see new seedlings popping up around the garden in spring.
Sow your flower seeds in spring using good quality seed compost or sieved multi-purpose compost. Scatter your flower seeds over the surface of dampened compost and cover with a light covering of soil. Label your trays and cover them with a plastic bag to keep them moist. Germination speed depends on the temperature around your seeds and the variety, but expect to see your seedlings coming up within two weeks of sowing.
Alternatively, sow your hardy annual flower seeds such as sweet peas and wildflowers in autumn. These flowers overwinter really well for planting out the following year in spring for earlier blooms. Simply place the seedlings in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse to wait out the colder months.
When to plant sunflower seeds
Plant sunflower seeds in April on a sunny windowsill. Use individual 9cm pots to sow your sunflowers, pushing the seeds roughly 1cm deep into the soil. Sow two seeds per pot in case of poor germination, if both seeds germinate then simply thin out the weaker seedling later in May.
If you want to sow your sunflower seeds directly outdoors into their final position, wait until May for the soil to warm and the risk of frost to pass. Remember to stake your taller varieties to provide support as they develop.
How to plant flower seeds
Wildflower seeds can be directly sown into the garden and grow very well in poor soils. If you have a bare patch in the garden to fill with colour, rake it over and remove any perennial weeds before scattering your wildflower seeds in spring or in autumn. Lightly rake over the soil to cover the seeds and use a fine hose spray to water them in. Don’t use any fertiliser or soil improver.