Celebrate Plant a Flower Day—Even if Your Garden Is Buried in Snow

It might be a little early to plant your tender annuals, especially if your beds sport six inches of snow and temperatures hover in the 30s. But have no fear: you, too, can celebrate National Plant a Flower Day on March 12 in preparation for spring.

Instead of planting your flowers outside, focus on sowing seeds indoors. Whether you’re looking to create a bountiful cutting garden to produce beautiful bouquets throughout the season, want to grow marigolds as companion plants for your veggie garden to help deter pests, or plan a rich, vibrant mailbox garden to add curb appeal, starting flowers from seed is both cost-effective and rewarding. There’s nothing like sowing seeds, pampering the little green babies as they emerge, tending them until they’re big and strong, then planting them in your garden and watching them bloom. It’s a terrific feeling of accomplishment to grow your own flowers—plus, it lets you get your hands in the soil right now, instead of waiting for your garden to thaw.

Visit your local Master Nursery® Garden Center to pick up your favorite flower seeds, seed starting tools, and Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Potting Soil [Eastern & Midwestern Regions | Western Region].

coneflowerWhat are your favorite flowers? Many varieties are super easy to start from seed, offering nearly instant gratification. If you’re new to seed starting, give these a try.

  • Coneflowers—Not only are coneflowers pollinator magnets, these pretty perennial flowers make a great addition to homegrown bouquets. Older varieties don’t bloom until the second year after starting from seed, but some newer cultivars produce flowers the first season. Look for PowWow Wild Berry or Cheyenne Spirit coneflower seed if you’re anxious to add color to your garden this year.
  • Zinnias—One of the easiest annual flowers to grow, there’s a zinnia variety sure to suit everyone. Whether you like old-fashioned single, heirloom zinnias, pretty double blooms, or the unique bi-colors of many new cultivars, zinnias will brighten up your beds, bouquets, and pollinator gardens.
  • Marigolds—Traditionally used as a companion plant in the veggie garden to help deter pests, marigolds look great lining a walkway, filling the front of a mixed bed, or brightening a container garden. If you like crafts, many marigolds make a great dye as well.
  • Cosmos—Sweet, delicate cosmos are tougher than they look. These charming, daisy-like flowers look lovely in beds and bouquets, attract pollinators, and also give the gardener a break: they’re low maintenance and even thrive in poor soil.
  • Sweet Peas—Who can resist the old-world charm of sweet peas? Look for the highly-fragrant varieties to add delicious scent to your garden and bouquets. Most sweet peas need a trellis or fence to climb for best results. They also appreciate a little assistance to get started: nick the tough outer seed coating with a nail file (called scarification) to help water penetrate the seed and speed germination.
  • Nasturtium—A gorgeous flower that not only looks great, it tastes great, too! Look for trailing varieties for pretty additions to raised beds or window boxes. The edible flower adds a peppery kick to salads.
  • Sunflowers—If you garden with kids, sunflowers make the perfect plant to get them interested in gardening. The giant varieties are especially fun to grow, but newer dwarf cultivars make a great addition to small gardens and containers. Starting sunflowers indoors means that you are outsmarting the birds and mammals that love to snack on the seeds. However, sunflowers dislike transplanting: they get a little miffed if their roots are disturbed. Start these seeds in biodegradable pots, and then plant the entire pot in the garden.

Make sure to pick up Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Soil Builder [Eastern & Midwestern Regions | Western Region] and Master Nursery® Bumper Crop® Starter Food to give your new flowering plants a great start.

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