Monday, April 2, 2012

Growing Marigolds and Zinnas from Last Season's Flowers

Spring weather has come rather quickly this year,so I decided to jump in and get my hands dirty for a few hours last week.  I love flowers and the beauty they add to our landscape, but I don't necessarily like the money that needs to be spent to keep my flower beds looking good.  So over the years I have saved money by planting perennials. I have also learned to dry my blooms and use them for seeds the next spring. It is rather simple and an easy way to save money.

I have never really been a big fan of Marigolds, 
but I have learned to like them for their long blooming 
season, easy care AND they are easy to dry and save the blooms to use as seeds the next year.

It is really easy to dry them.  When they start to look crummy in the fall and you are ready to clean out your flower beds, just pull the whole plant out of the ground. Shake off the excess dirt and tie a piece of jute around the stem.  Hang them upside down in a dry place.  I usually hang mine in the barn, but your shed,  garage or basement will work.

Zinnia's, on the other hand, are one of my favorite flowers and are another really easy flower to dry and plant the seeds the next spring. With Zinnia's, I just pop the heads of the stems once they start to dry up in the fall.  I place the flower heads in a brown bag in a dry place (like the shelf in my garage)

With both marigolds and zinnias you can pick them while they are still looking good, they do not have to be dried up on the stems.  They will dry out just the same.

Last week I planted the seeds that I had saved from last year.

Marigold seeds

Zinnia seeds

Prepare the area where you want to plant your seeds.  I usually just take my hand and brush back some of the dirt or mulch.  You don't need to plant the seeds very deep.  Then break apart the dried flower spreading all of it in the area you prepared (it is easier to spread the dried flower petals, stem and seeds rather than pick out all the indvidual seeds.)

marigold seeds

zinnia seeds

I like to plant marigold and zinnia seeds throughout my perennials so I am guarantteed color all summer and into the fall. Oh, and don't be afraid to spread the seeds too think.  You may get them a little clumped together, but I think they look pretty that way.  I never plant my flowers the recommended distance apart.

Seeds stuck in between some perennials

Once you have your seeds on  the ground, gently spread a thin layer of dirt on top to cover the seeds and protect them from the wind.  Before you know it you will have little seedlings.  

You will feel good knowing you really grew your own flowers from start to finish.  
And the best thing is you can do it all again next year!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing ... I enjoyed the article.