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Annuals/growing seeds


Hello! Recently at my garden center I bought some packets of annual flower seeds that looked very nice. I purchased packets of Phlox drummondii, Calendula officinalis, Portulaca grandiflora (Moss Rose), and Convolvulus tricolor minor (Ensign Blue Morning Glory). Are there any specific growing conditions that I should be aware of for any of these plants? The descriptions of these plants said that they produce many flowers that last throughout the season. Are there any other annuals that produce many blooms that you would recommend?

Also, the main reason I am asking you today is for advice on starting these seeds. Could I just directly sprinkle the seeds on some soil? What do I need to do in order for these seeds to germinate and grow? Thank you.
I live in southern Massachusetts and I plan to grow them in my front yard which is facing east and gets lots of morning sun but shade in the afternoon.

It is too early to plant seeds outdoors in Massachusetts.  You should start them indoors in little peat pots in the sunniest window in your house.

Portulaca is a beautiful little annual and probably the easiest flower you could grow.  The advantage of annuals is that they grow and bloom all the way into September, through the end of the summer.  Perennials are short-blooming plants and are not as "perennial" as garden centers would have you believe.

I must warn you: These are all full sun plants.  That means they will flower less than their potential if you grow them with only morning sun.  That will definitely impede your results.

To be on the safe side, I would recommend picking up some begonias and impatiens.  They grow very quickly although the yellow and blue flowers you are craving are not available on these other shade plants.

Perhaps you could move the house?

If you have a garden center, pick up a heat warming coil.  You can use this year after year.  Plant it in the ground and you can start your seeds out there, where they'll get fresh air and won't need to be transplanted.  You can also put the coil under a towel or sheet and put the peat pots indoors in the window.  Soil that is nice and warm will germinate seeds very quickly.

But I would definitely look into moving that house to a sunnier spot!



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Decisions, decisions... If you can't make up your mind which Annuals to grow, you're not alone. Problem with your new flowering Annuals flats? I`ve been there, done that. Petunias, Sweet Alyssum, Larkspur, Marine Blue Lobelia -- they all grow here at my house on Garden Street on Long Island, N.Y.. Cutting and Cottage Gardens, Sun and Shade Gardens, White Gardens and Night Gardens, I`ve done them all. Annuals are the perfect summer flower, bursting with color June through fall's first frost. I can`t speak on Cactus or tender Tropical Plants -- they don`t grow outside in my Zone 7. I`m no Farmer, so I cannot guide you on Fruits and Vegetables. But whether it`s an Annual you want to start from seed, mail-order or pick up at your local garden center, I can help you grow amazing blooms this Summer. Yes, together, we can turn your neighbors green with envy.


I have a lifetime of gardening behind me here on the North Shore of Long Island. While I have degrees in related fields, there's nothing like hands-on work to build real knowledge. I stay on top of current science -- there's a boom in research, and Kingdom Plantae is filled with surprises. By the way, I really do live on Garden Street.

Gannett newspapers, The New York Times, and hundreds of others - but not on Annuals.

B.A., botany; graduate credits in European Intellectual History and Political Science; minor coursework in related fields, docent training at our local botanical gardens (required for volunteers). I'm currently working on an advanced biochemistry degree.

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