8 Flowers You Can Direct Sow

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Who doesn’t want easy-to-grow flowers that add a touch of beauty to your garden or allotment without too much hassle? Direct sowing flower seeds bypasses the need for seed starting indoors and transplanting, making it a perfect approach for busy or beginner gardeners.

In this article, I’ll be sharing eight flowers that you can easily direct sow in your garden, so you can sit back and revel in nature’s blossoming beauty. With a mix of annuals and perennials, these fuss-free flowers will enhance your outdoor space and provide a colourful backdrop for enjoying morning coffees or evening barbecues.

From vibrant sunflowers to delicate cosmos, these flowers cater to various gardening preferences, ensuring there’s something for every gardener to try their hand at. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of direct-sow flowers.

Choosing the Right Location

Determining the right location for the seeds is crucial to their success. Before sowing, I ensure that the area is free from weeds, rocks, and sticks, and the soil is loose. I like to give the soil a quick rake to level it out and also remove any small weeds.

To help ease the process of sowing and growing flowers, here are a few tips I follow:

  • Read seed packets for specific planting instructions and requirements.
  • Protect seedlings from common pests if necessary, using physical barriers or organic methods.
  • Maintain consistent moisture and do not let newly sowed areas dry out

Dedicating time to choose the right location for direct-sowed flowers significantly benefits their growth and allows you to enjoy a vibrant and flourishing garden throughout the season.

8 Flowers to Direct Sow

In this section, I’d like to share with you my top 8 picks of flowers you can direct sow in your garden. Each flower is mentioned below, followed by a brief description of the planting and care process.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers are a classic choice for direct sowing due to their fast-growing nature. I simply sow the seeds in late spring in shallow drills. They thrive best in full sun and well-drained soil.

Sunflower
Sunflower

Marigolds

Marigolds are a wonderful choice for adding vibrant colour to your garden. I generally sow the seeds in spring and cover them lightly with soil. Again make a shallow drill and pop your seeds into it and then cover.

You can thin the marigolds to the distance you desire once they start to germinate.

Marigolds
Marigolds

Poppies

Poppies can be sown either in early spring or autumn. To get the best results, I scatter their seeds onto well-draining and well-prepared soil. I tend to direct sow poppies in a sunny location, as they produce more vibrant blooms under direct sunlight.

It’s as simple as clearing some soil, giving it a good rake and throwing some poppy seeds down.

Poppies
Poppies

Nigella (Love-In-A-Mist)

Nigella, or Love-In-A-Mist, is another flower that is easy to direct sow. Sow the seeds in early spring or autumn (autumn sowing doesn’t work for me in Lancashire but can do if you are further south!), ensuring the seeds have contact with the soil. Nigella prefers full sun, but they can also tolerate some light shade.

Give the seeds a quick rake after you have scattered them to bury them under a little bit of soil. Water the area well, and then wait for your seedlings to pop up. You can thin them if you want or leave them be.

If thinned you will get bigger plants and more flowers, but it depends on the look you are going for.

Nigella (Love In A Mist)
Nigella (Love In A Mist)

Cornflowers

Cornflowers are easy to grow from direct sowing. I typically sow them in early spring, covering the seeds lightly with soil, again using a rake. They thrive best in full sun and well-draining soil.

Cornflowers
Cornflowers

Cosmos

Cosmos are a fantastic addition to any garden, and I often direct sow their seeds in spring or early summer. They do well in a full-sun location with moderately fertile, well-draining soil.

This is another seed you can just grab in your hand and broadcast sow it where you want it to grow. Give it a quick rake and a good soaking and then seedlings should pop up in around three weeks.

Once they start popping up, thin them out to roughly 10-15cm apart to give them room to grow.

Cosmos
Cosmos

Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are a gorgeous flower, with edible flowers! They are great for tumbling down a wall or over the side of a bed.

The large seeds can be direct sown straight into the ground. You can broadcast them and rake them in but they do better when buried a little deeper.

You can do this by growing in drills, but if you want a more random look then one thing I like to do is scatter them on the ground and then simply push them into the soil with my finger.

Nasturtiums
Nasturtiums

Calendula (Pot Marigold)

Lastly, Calendula, or Pot Marigolds, are another fantastic bloom for direct sowing. I tend to sow the seeds in early spring but in milder areas they can be autumn sown. This is definitely one you can broadcast sow and rake in. They prefer full sun or light shade, and need well-draining soil.

They are prolific self-seeders and will come back year after year despite being an annual. The blooms are also used in all kinds of balms and such.

Young Calendula In My Cut Flower Bed
Young Calendula In My Cut Flower Bed

What are your favourite flowers for direct sowing? let me know in the comments below, and if you have any questions then ask away and you can always email me at daniel@patientgardener.co.uk

Daniel

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