Here at Petals we are committed to growing as many of our flowers locally, organically, and from seed. I truly believe the joys your own garden can bring you are unparalleled so I want to support each and every one of you on your journey to growing your own flowers and food. Here I will provide a timeline of when and what to do the prepare for your dream garden and helpful links on how to get started!
The first thing you need when starting your own seedlings, is well....seeds! Where you buy your seeds is super important because supporting small and organic seed producers is one of the most powerful ways you can protect our environment and slow the over reach of chemical spewing behemoths like Mon-santo (did you know they now OWN Burpee?!?!) I buy my seeds from a number of places that I review here.
Seeds require three basic things to germinate properly: light, humidity, and heat. You can read all about the tools I have had success with over the years here, as well as find links to purchase the systems I use. Don't be intimidated, while you can spend hundreds and dollars and take over 1/3 of your house for seed starting (like I have), you can alsoeasily start a dozen seedlings for less than $20 and a windowsill. If you buy anything, buy this and this and a packet of seeds and you are on you way to a dream garden! (I don't get any kickbacks on these links, I really just feel these are the best starter products!)
Not sure which seeds to start with? Two easy to start flower seeds are Calendula & Zinnia and I start trays of each every year. That link will take you to an article I wrote about growing them for a cut flower garden.
Once you have your tools and seeds ready to go, you need to do a tiny bit of research into the where and when of gardening. I've made it easy for you with this article where you can learn what your gardening zone is (location as it pertains to growing) and your last frost date (the day after which you can get your seed babies outside). Before you know it, this will be you:
Now, for the die hard of you all when are still reading, here's what I've done so far this year to prepare for my field of (flower) dreams:
In January I ordered all of my seeds (but don't despair, you can still order them or pick them up at your local garden center). The last week of February I potted up 50/300 dahlia tubers that I overwintered from last year. The remaining 250 will arrive shortly and join their older siblings in pots ASAP. If you are a dahlia fan you can read about growing them here and here. I also put my Bells of Ireland and verbena into the fridge for cold stratification (which you can read about here) The 1st of March I started the following seeds in seed trays atop heat mats and under grow lights: snapdragons, poppies, pansies, foxglove, dusty miller, nasturtium, and basil. End of March I will start pincushions, Queen Anne's lace, bells of Ireland, China asters, and chocolate lace. Early April I will start orlaya and strawflowers. Mid-April I will start dahlia seeds, amaranth, celosia, more nasturtium, zinnia, and globe amaranth. Finally, in May I will direct sow my pumpkins, penny cress, sunflowers, and more zinnia. As you can see, you can start seeds any time between now and late May!
Have any questions for me? Want even more help in starting your garden? Want hands on help? How about throwing a party for all your garden loving peeps in a beautiful, flower filled arboretum with wine and someone else to clean up all the dirt?!?! We host private seed starting parties every Spring for birthdays, client appreciation, team building, and girls night! Just get in touch and we can set everything up! Email me at: PetalsBoulder@gmail.com to get started.