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Flowers - How To?

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Flowers - How To?

Post  twodaend on 3/25/2014, 8:55 pm

This year, I would like to add some flowers to some of my empty squares.  However, I'm not sure what kind and how to go about planting them (direct sow vs. seed indoors).  Do the same rules apply as we do our veggies 1, 2, 4, etc. per square?  Do we plant 2 or 3 seeds per hole or do we just sprinkle the seed pack amongst to square(s).

This year, I picked out some flowers and I was going to do 2 squares of each.  However, I've been reading that some dwarf marigolds are nice, so I may switch out one below if I can find the dwarf marigolds.  Any help and/or explanation on how to go about adding flowers to our SFGs would be very helpful.

Thanks

Petunia - Dwaf Bedding, Mixed Colors

Alyssum - Royal Carpet

Pansy - Springtime Mix

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Re: Flowers - How To?

Post  Marc Iverson on 3/25/2014, 9:11 pm

I don't know much about flowers, but just passing along a nice thing about marigolds, which you say you are considering. They are incredibly tough and can thrive even in very tiny containers. I had ones in little 4x4 inch containers last from spring until frost, blooming like mad all the while. So while they love more room and will fill it out nicely with flowers, if you overplant them, don't worry.

Oh, and our local master gardeners say petunias are notoriously sketchy on germination. So you may want to plant too many and then thin them out if you need to.

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Re: Flowers - How To?

Post  yolos on 3/25/2014, 9:24 pm

The ANSFG book says:

Marigolds, dwarf - 4 per square, Large - 1 per square
Pansy, 4 per square
Petunia - 4 per square (doesn't say if small or large)
Alyssum - my pack says 6 to 8" apart which would be 4 per square using this formula.  (if you assume 6" apart) [12 divided by spacing squared].  I don't know if this formula really works, but this is what I was told when I first started asking about spacing.

But the best formula is to use your experience or someone else's experience to determine the spacing.

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Re: Flowers - How To?

Post  yolos on 3/25/2014, 9:58 pm

Okay, I just started thinking about my previous answer and the Dwarf French Marigold seeds that a forum member sent me last year grew and grew and grew.  I will not plant 4 per square this year.  More like 1 per square.  I guess it depends on the specific variety that you plant.  The Dwarf French Marigolds were bushy and filled with flowers and green foliage all summer long.

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Re: Flowers - How To?

Post  quiltbea on 3/25/2014, 10:29 pm

And don't forget you can eat the pansy blossoms and those of nasturtiums (I always plant nasts in my beds).
If you don't want to waste bed space, just place a pot on the corner of each bed and you'll have flowers to eat and flowers to tempt the local bees.

Like this.

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Re: Flowers - How To?

Post  yolos on 3/25/2014, 11:44 pm

@quiltbea wrote:And don't forget you can eat the pansy blossoms and those of nasturtiums (I always plant nasts in my beds).
If you don't want to waste bed space, just place a pot on the corner of each bed and you'll have flowers to eat and flowers to tempt the local bees.
I bought 4 different varieties of nasturtiums but couldn't get them to germinate.  The easiest to grow and care for were the orange cosmos.  Bloomed all summer and the bees loved them.

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Re: Flowers - How To?

Post  sanderson on 3/26/2014, 1:52 am

I always spring plant snapdragons, petunias, and allysun in hot pinks, dark purples and white in the front yard.  Petunias are wide, about 12", and 4-6" high.  The snapdragons are 2+' tall so I plant them behind the petunias, 10-12 inches apart.  The allysum is sometimes in the very front 8-12" apart or interspersed between the petunias.  I fall plant pansies because they survive the freezes.

Both petunias and allysum can be planted near the box edge of the front row of the box and they will hang over the edge.  Cosmos, snaps or tall marigolds, or any other vertically tall flower, can be planted in the back of the same row.  This is a photo of one of the front flower beds newly planted.  Everything is about 10-12" apart.


This year I tried germinating some flower seeds for the back yard and got mixed results.  No luck with petunias but good results with snaps, zinnias, sun flower, Kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate, morning glories (poisonous), lupine, sweet pea (poisonous), larkspur, cosmos, coleus, and chelosia (cock's comb).

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Re: Flowers - How To?

Post  jimmy cee on 3/26/2014, 8:33 am

I wont plant nasturtiums in my beds any more, they just about took over 1/3rd of my bed.
Now they did great in my hanging baskets....

Garden plant, before they got really large

hanging basket

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Dwarf Marigolds

Post  Windmere on 3/26/2014, 10:12 am

@yolos wrote:Okay, I just started thinking about my previous answer and the Dwarf French Marigold seeds that a forum member sent me last year grew and grew and grew.  I will not plant 4 per square this year.  More like 1 per square.  I guess it depends on the specific variety that you plant.  The Dwarf French Marigolds were bushy and filled with flowers and green foliage all summer long.
I agree with yolos regarding marigolds.  Last season, I planted Dwarf French Marigold seeds that I got from our dollar store (I paid 10 cents per packet).  Those marigolds grew to be the biggest I've ever seen life (everyone who saw them agreed).  They exploded with color and gave my vegetable garden a real color boost.  Also, similar to yolos, my Orange Diablo Cosmos performed better than my other varieties.  I wonder if that has anything to do with our type of soil here in GA.  I must confess, I did not squander MM on them, just Jungle Growth, some composted steer manure and then the bottom layer was regular old GA clay.

As quiltbea mentioned, nasturtiums and pansies make for good eating.  I made a salad for a special family gathering on Monday, and pansy blossoms gave it some pizazz.  The kids enjoyed eating flowers!

Jimmy Cee's comments about nasturtiums ended up being true for me as well.  I will be planting my seeds in a pair of hanging baskets that I have ready for them.

Oh, and I wanted to give a nod to Sanderson:  Your lawn looks awesome!

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Re: Flowers - How To?

Post  Turan on 3/26/2014, 11:19 pm

I always seem to have snap dragons, alyssum, Johny-Jump-ups, sunflowers and marigolds in the garden. The alyssum goes in the greenhouse as a draw and food for beneficial insects. The snapdragons are my DH's favorite flower so I put them on bed edges next to the path past the garden. Marigolds and sunflowers self seed so I just sort of thin and move as seems needed. Sunflowers can be a bit over bearing but are good in hte corn. Marigolds and Johny-JUmp-ups just wander around and I like where ever they pop up. If any of these start crowding a vegtable I pull the flower up, this is a veggy bed first.

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Re: Flowers - How To?

Post  twodaend on 3/27/2014, 3:02 pm

Is everyone planting their flowers starting from seeds or just getting trays/flats from the store and then planting them in their beds or pots?

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Re: Flowers - How To?

Post  CapeCoddess on 3/27/2014, 3:21 pm

Zinnias, nasturtium & marigolds from seed.  Geraniums, begonias & petunias are wintered over in pots.  The rest are established perennials. None go into my SFG due to lack of space.  I did a nasturtium in the SFG my first year and the thing was a monster!  I finally took it out & into a pot it went. 
 
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Re: Flowers - How To?

Post  sanderson on 3/27/2014, 3:23 pm

Back yard where the beds are - seedlings from seeds

Front yard for instant effect - pony packs

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Re: Flowers - How To?

Post  rabbithutch on 3/27/2014, 3:50 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:Zinnias, nasturtium & marigolds from seed.  Geraniums, begonias & petunias are wintered over in pots.  The rest are established perennials. None go into my SFG due to lack of space.  I did a nasturtium in the SFG my first year and the thing was a monster!  I finally took it out & into a pot it went. 
 
CC

Howdy, CC!

Heard on last night's news that you folks got blasted pretty good with a Spring blizzard.

Hope you weathered it well and stayed toasty and that your plants did the same.

 

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Re: Flowers - How To?

Post  jimmy cee on 8/1/2014, 6:45 pm

Last years flowers in hanging baskets were a  success for me, this year was just as well.
Nasturtiums are becoming a favorite for me, all in Mel's Mix.

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Re: Flowers - How To?

Post  Pollinator on 8/1/2014, 11:23 pm


I prefer to stick with good nectar and pollen bearing flowers to intermix with my garden veggies. These will build up your population of beneficial insects, including pollinators, predators and parasites on the "bad" bugs.

Unfortunately pansies and petunias fail, in this regard, so they don't get planted much around our home.

Keep in mind that some pollinators, like soldier beetles and syrphid flies have young that specialize in eating insect pests.

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