Fall Seed Planting for a Glorious Spring

Fall Seed Planting is an easy way to get a lot of flowers in your garden for very little money. Just a little bit of effort can bring large rewards next season.

Is your garden starting to wind down?  Mine too.  Besides the Fall clean up I have tons of ideas for next Spring and Summer so now is the time for dividing of Iris, seed collecting, and fall seed planting.

For more of a how-to on this subject see this post: Fall Seed planting .

I start many hardy seeds right in the ground. Some of the seeds get started in a nursery bed (seeds in a specific bed dedicated to starting seeds but will be moved to their permanent spot after they have germinated and grown a bit) and others will be seeded directly in the garden in the location for them to grow all season.

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Oriental poppies are a gorgeous perennial that will return each year but can be easily started from seed.

Though many will say they hate to be moved, I have done so successfully.
Poppy Oriental Blend

orange oriental poppy grown from seed

A super-easy way to get these started is to winter sow the Oriental Poppies.

If you want a particular color I would buy that single color instead of a mix. I wanted whites and pinks but got all red and orange.

Laurens Grape, is a gorgeous purple poppy that can get quite large. I just love the coloration and despite my placing a container on top of where I sowed the seeds this past winter they came up and bloomed.

(note: always mark the location where you seeded something as you may forget and plant something on top of them before they sprout)

This is the Laurens Grape Poppy I grew from seed. I can’t wait for it to spread!

Lauren's Grape Poppy, Flower Patch Farmhouse

Bachelors Buttons are a great way to add blue to your garden and if you deadhead regularly you get a very long bloom time.  

In fact, with the Black Magic color, I did not even have to deadhead to get long-time blooms.  Plus it was just such an interesting color.

The blue ones performed just as well.

blue bachelors buttons

Cleome or Spider flower.  I love these flowers as they bloom later in the season for me and they fill in where others have faded.

They sway in the breeze and provide such an interesting shape to the garden. They provide plenty of seeds so you can sow them again.

In some areas, people claim they spread too easily and become a pest but that has not been my experience.

To avoid them reseeding too freely, just remove the seed pods before they dry and disperse. You can see them hanging down in the photo, they are long tubular green pods.

Cleome in the garden at Flower Patch Farmhouse

Love in a Mist.  I grew this in the valley long ago, and it was very prolific and easy to grow.  Why I have not included it in my current garden is a mystery to me.  

But this year I am going to give it a go.  It is another way to add fabulous blue to my garden and I do love the airy foliage of this garden delight as well.  They make great cut flowers too.

Violas are a favorite of mine as I can plant them now and have them overwinter.  They will provide color and a sweet scent during the cool months until snow covers them up.  

Then in Spring they will jump to attention and be some of the first flowers to shine in the garden.

Galvanized bucket planter filled with voilas or pansies, FlowerPatchFarmhouse.com

One thing about growing such easy flowers from seed is if they are annuals you can switch up your garden from year to year.

Trying flowers that are new to you can be an exciting way to find what will really thrive in your garden.

Always remember if you are a first-time gardener or you are trying out a new plant, don’t judge a plant or variety by one season, sometimes the weather you have in any current year can affect how something performs and it isn’t because that plant does not do well generally.

Happy Gardening!

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  1. Lyn Pilgrim says:

    All are beautiful photos I love the poppies & the Cleome not a flower that you see very often is it ? Thank-you Pamela, Lyn x

  2. Those poppies are a fascinating color. I lean towards blues and purples but think even the oriental red would be a nice pop of color. It is not a flower I see around here often. Bachelor buttons have a place in my heart as my great grandmother always had them and sweet Williams.

  3. Debbie Jones says:

    I have never seen the Laurens grape poppy. Beautiful and I will look for it around here (So Cal.) I get my pansies and violas late Oct. maybe Nov. when the heat is over. I have them till June when the heat kills them off. But it is money well spent for such a long season and they bring me so much joy!

  4. Cynthia White says:

    I’m so glad your posting this. I have some seeds that I ordered in February, among them poppies. I did not get around to planting them or getting started indoors as I did with most of the others. I am guessing I can direct sow them in the fall, is that correct? Also, I am in zone 5/6, Northern Ohio. Do I need to wait until October or November when it is definitely cooler? We can still have some pretty hot days around here in September and early October. . .

  5. I have read in zones below 7 it is better to seed them in early Spring as the cold, cold you get in winter can kill the young seedlings. Here I can get away with it as by the time it gets that cold there is enough snow on the ground to insulate them. I am in zone 8 (used to be 7 but that has been changed in the last 5 years). You can certainly try to plant some now and test to see how they do, each winter is so different. Plus some need to stratify (go through a cold period) to even sprout.
    Poppies don’t like to be buried, you just toss the seeds on top of the soil and press in, I usually use my foot.
    My poppies I already have drop seed in late summer and they do fine, I just let them reseed as they will. None germinate until early spring.
    The package on my Oriental Poppies says early to mid Fall to sow in my climate. Since fall is next week I would think it safe to go ahead and put them out for me. We have a few warm days left too. I will seed two different spots, one will be my nursery bed that will get watered and the other will be in a spot that may or may not get watered until rain falls so it will be a test which one does better for me.

  6. Cynthia White says:

    Hey, Pamela! Thank you so much for the response. I am going to try a few seeds and see what happens. Last Winter was VERY mild for us. Our house is on the Lake (Erie), and since we’re by a large body of water, it maintains a slightly warmer temperature than if we were further inland. Last year we had hardly any ice-over of the Lake, also contributing to the mildness. . .I’ve a feeling that I should try in early, early Spring. Hope the seeds will still be okay by then. I usually keep them in a dark, cool place.

  7. Plants really do have their own time and their own season to bloom. I was just thinking about this yesterday, thank you for this blog.

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