Zinnias complement our roses with beautiful blooms
If there is one flower I must have in the garden other than roses, it is zinnias. One of the easiest flowers to grow, Zinnias provide a multitude of blooms all season long. To get a jump start on the season, I typically sow seeds indoors in early March and by the time April comes round, i’m ready to plant them in the ground or in containers.
I start with Jiffy seed pellets. Very inexpensive (less than $3) at local stores.
I start with Jiffy soil pelletts
Place the seed pellets them in a tray or other container. I have one seed starting tray that I bought several years ago for this purpose, and I reuse it every year, but any container will do. I also use pie pans, butter bowls or the proverbial dixie cup…..
add warm water to cover the pellets. (To encourage early germination, I use a mixture of composted manure tea and warm water.) The warm water will cause them to expand. It usually takes about 5-10 minutes for the expansion to occur. Like Jiffy Pop Popcorn, kids love to watch this happen.
I then dig into my trusty Seed Keeper and select seeds. The Seed Keeper is a great way to organize my seed collection.
Once expanded, I use the tools from my Seed Keeper to take seeds and insert into the top of the expanded pellet, then lightly cover the top of the seed.
My two favorite colors of zinnia are red and yellow.
The Ferry-Morse company has provided my garden with zinnia seeds for many years and I always select from varieties that will provide the best possible visual impact in the garden.
Cover the planted seeds and place in direct light for 5-7 days. According to most seed companies, seeds will germinate in 10-14 days. By adding the composted manure tea to the mix, germination will happen in 5-7 days. That may not seem like a big difference to some, but to me it mean additional days this summer I will have blooms and I’ll take all the joy I can get….
You will see sprouts in no time and come April here in the deep south, i’ll be setting these out in the garden…. Come July, I will sow more seeds directly in the garden for blooms in the fall.
I would love to hear your seed starting adventures and hop that everyday you’ll celebrate the joy that flowers bring!