Do you fantasize about walking out of your home to hand-pick some gorgeous flowers? Sure, the idea sounds nice, but can you make it a reality? The truth is, most of us are busy people. The thought of gardening after a long day of work can seem tedious and far from doable. The good news is, having fresh flowers growing in your yard can be as simple as cracking open a packet of seeds and putting them in the soil.
Love Is All You Need
Let's take a moment to sit back in awe about what seeds really are and what they can do. When we see them, they're just specs inside tiny packages waiting for you to give them a chance at life. That little micro-life has everything it needs to protect itself out in the world. It brought along all the nutrients it needs to survive once it gets into the nitty gritty soil, and with all the right conditions, it will grow into a plant humans will love. It's pretty amazing stuff.
Okay, okay, enough of the mushy stuff. Yes, we love flowers. The point is, not everybody considers themselves a "green thumb" who can wake up and have a garden one day. Fear not! These seeds make it easy for even those with minimal gardening skills. So, if you have some soil and a few packages of the following seeds, you can have gorgeous blooms all summer long.
If you want to start getting serious about gardening, I always recommend getting a soil test first to see what's going on underground. You will get more out of your garden by making the proper changes to your soil.
You also want to spend a lot of time outdoors observing your light patterns before you start planting. If your house is under several trees and you get absolutely no sun, some of these flowers will not be successful for you.
The main objective here is to get you to take some risks, experiment, see what works in your conditions, and see what happens. The joy of working from seed is that the initial investment is low, so if some things don't pan out, you didn't waste a ton of time or money.
So, with that said, let's get started.
The Best Low Maintenance Plants to Try
These plants are great for early spring or summer planting, are basically care-free, and will give you a beautiful bloom all season long.
Alyssum is a cute, low-growing little flower that also likes to be planted in slightly chillier conditions and will serve as a great transition into your show-stopping summer annual flowers. You can throw down some seed early to mid-spring and have it blooming by summer. Just make sure the threat of frost has passed before planting.
Just sprinkle seeds and lightly press them into the soil. Keep the soil evenly moist and your alyssum should germinate within only one week.
Alyssum comes in a variety of colors and brightens up planters and garden beds alike. Groupings of alyssum have the most effect as they look like little drifts of color cascading through the garden. Sounds nice, right?
TIP: Planting alyssum amongst lettuce is a natural and effective way to attract beneficial insects that will help protect your lettuce plants from imminent destruction caused by aphids.
Sunflowers are a well-loved flower that anyone can plant. They are a great seed to start with children because of their large size and can-do attitude!
It's important to note that when a seed is as big as a sunflower's is, you want to place it deep enough into the soil. Wait until any danger of frost has completely passed, and then sow a bunch spaces approximately 4 inches apart. They only take 8-10 days to germinate and some varieties can reach as tall at 10 feet high!
This seed will do the work for you, but birds also LOVE to eat tender sunflower shoots. If you notice that the seeds you planted have disappeared a week later, you may need to resow and throw over some bird netting or a mesh berry basket until the plants are get tough enough to fend for themselves. Fear not, this is only a few minutes of work for a great reward down the line.
This flower just cannot disappoint. It loves sunshine and little aggravation. Hey, who doesn't?
This drought-resistant flower will grow tall and strong with frilly leaves and dainty, but bold, blooms so long as they have an evenly moist soil to start with. They come in amazing varieties of color, and when you plant cosmos seeds in early to mid-spring, they will bloom from mid-summer into fall.
They also make an excellent cut flower for bouquets!
TIP: if you have a garden already going, make sure to place cosmos in the back of the bed so that they don't shade or hide lower-growing plants.
Oh Zinnias, be still my heart. There is such an excellent choice of color with this flower, and they need little care. All they ask is that you space them evenly to keep the sometimes-common mildew at bay.
They are tolerant to drought and extreme heat, making them ideal for summer. They go from seed to flower quickly, so you can plant them in the spring for a full summer bloom. While they thrive best in moderately prepped soil, they will still grow in soil that has not been prepped beforehand.
Many varieties are tall with strong stems, but you can find some out there that are shorter and ideal for containers.
Pick often and share with friends, as they bring cheer wherever they go.
If you've never grown flowers before, this one will make you feel like an aficionado! Marigolds are a staple in the summer garden and another great seed to start with children. They make adorable mini bouquets, or simply brighten up any area of the garden.
Marigolds need lots of sunlight to grow, but they will thrive in almost any soil. Warm soil is best though, so try planting in mid spring, before the last frost is expected to come. Space the marigolds 2-3 feet apart, and wait to see them quickly germinate and bloom.
TIP: Seed them in with your tomatoes, as the two get along really well.
Calendula isn't a flower you see in every garden or hear about all the time, but it certainly should be. It's a tough plant with a bold appearance, and it will self-sow. That's right, put in in once, and it will send out seed for next year (so you don't have to)! They are long-lasting, edible, and medicinal!
Simply wait until the last frost, and plant the seeds. Within 5-15 days, the seeds will germinate and you will begin to see results by summer.
TIP: Calendulas are great companion plants for vegetable gardens. Consider pairing them with marigolds, chards, tomatoes, and carrots.
Perhaps it's rude to say "save the best for last," but nasturtiums really do take the...cake? When it comes to an amazing, low-maintenance, summer-blooming flower, this is one you want to plant!
The seeds are big and easy to see, and they make an amazing flower for a hanging basket or a spiller in an annual planter. The leaves and petals are edible and look stunning in a salad, or provide a nice decorative touch on a classy birthday cake or a fancy drink.
Plant seeds early in spring. They will do well in partial shade but fully thrive with sunlight. Plus, they do well in any soil conditions and don't require use of fertilizers.
You can start to see results after just a week post-planting!
To Plant or Not to Plant: That Is No Longer a Question
This list could be longer, and the excitement over low-cost seed and amazing summer blooms could go through the roof, but just start out simple.
Keep your seed-shopping list small and get to know the plants really well. Look at this list, determine which ones you love and want to try, and double check that it will thrive in you area. Try to buy seed from a reputable, and preferably organic, source. Not only will you get the best variety, but also these vendors are typically full of helpful information. Plus, you'll get important information on the seed packet itself.
If you can try to water the area you seeded, that will increase your success; and as a general rule, it's a good idea to thin out thickly sown seed, deadhead, and pick flowers often.
Most importantly, have fun, plant seed, and forget about it!