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How to Plant Wildflowers
Step by step instructions on how to plant your wildflower seeds.
Find mixtures for your region, or for special uses such as dry areas, partial shade, attracting animals, low growing, and more.
Over 75 choices that will bloom in the second year and for years to come.
Over 110 choices for fast color, such as poppies, cosmos, sunflowers, zinnia, and many more.
Help the birds, bees, butterflies & hummingbirds by planting wildflowers.
Wildflower seeds native to your region. Support local wildlife with native wildflowers.
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Perennial Planting Guide
Step by step instructions on how to plant your bare root or potted perennials when they arrive.
Fall Flower Bulb Planting Guides
Step by step instructions on how to plant your fall-planted flower bulbs when they arrive.
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How to plant a cover crop
Learn about varieties which help to replenish nutrients to your soil.
Thrives in areas with cold freezing winters and hot summers.
Thrives in areas with hot temperatures.
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Fall offers a second season for adding perennials to your garden.
Many gardeners work long hours in the spring months, feverishly planting a variety of bulbs, wildflowers, and perennials for spectacular summer color. But packing all of your planting into several weeks per year isn’t always the most relaxing — or beneficial to your landscape. Succession planting refers to the simple practice of adding wildflowers, bulbs, perennials, and vegetables to your garden in a staggered timeframe throughout the season, for a long-lasting display of color, harvests that are spread out, and well-timed resources for local wildlife. As you’ll see in the comprehensive list below, planting isn’t just for spring!
If you didn’t get around to planting annual wildflowers in the spring, or want to create a long-lasting display of easy color, you can still plant quick-blooming annuals in the summer months. Depending on your region, you can plant easy-to-grow, quick-blooming annual wildflowers well into July.
Zinnias and Cosmos are quick-blooming annuals great for summer planting.
Some of our Favorite Quick-Blooming Annual Wildflowers For Summer Succession Planting:
When planting wildflowers in the summer months, make sure to regularly water the area until seedlings are at least 6” tall. After this, watering weekly should be enough to supplement regular rainfall.
Although August can sometimes be one of the hottest months of the season, it is actually the perfect time to plant Fall-Flowering Crocus. These quick-blooming, easy-to-grow bulbs bloom in just weeks and offer up late season blooms that are a great resource for pollinators (and the gardener who’s just not quite ready for winter).
Colchicum bulbs can be planted in August for blooms starting in just weeks.
Fall-Flowering Crocus come in elegant shades of pink, white, and purple, and can be planted in the front border of beds (they only get 6-8” tall). They are also a great candidate for adding fall color to containers on patios, balconies, decks, and stairways.
Pure white flowers of this Colchicum appear in fall just weeks after planting. Each bulb will produce 5 to 10 flowers. Deer Resistant. (Colchicum autumnale)...
Extra-large flowers in purplish pink. Great for patio pots in fall. Each Colchicum bulb produces 5-10 flowers. (Colchicum giganteum)...
This is the world-famous double pink fall flowering colchicum. Each bulb produces 5 to 10 brightly-colored flowers that pop gorgeously among the crowds of autumn leaves. Long-lasting...
Glistening pure-white crocus flowers sparked with orange and yellow anthers catch everyone's attention against the deep-blue skies of autumn. As welcome in fall as the famous white c...
One of the most popular Fall-Flowering Crocus is Saffron Crocus, which produces lovely purple blooms in the fall. The tiny red stigmas can be harvested and used fresh (or dried) as a spice in your favorite culinary dishes. Yes, this is the same expensive spice that you see in specialty stores and it’s actually quite easy to grow and harvest on your own.
Learn all about growing and harvesting Saffron Crocus for spice.
August is the perfect time to plant Bearded Iris because plants are typically dormant during the extreme heat, making them easy to plant.
August is the second season (besides spring) to add Bearded Iris to the garden. August-planted Bearded Iris rhizomes acclimate to your garden quicker and grow bigger in their first full season, often blooming in their first spring. Why is this? Bearded Iris, even re-bloomers, are typically dormant during the August heat. When a plant is dormant, it's in a suspended state and not actively growing, conserving all of its energy for the future. This is a perfect time to add plant, move or divide existing plants that are getting overcrowded.
Learn how to divide and replant Bearded Iris in August.
Lavishly ruffled, 'Silverado' Bearded Iris produces silvery-lavender, long-lasting blooms. Once matured, 'Silverado' has tall, sturdy stems that each produce 8-9 buds. Easy to combin...
'Silken Trim' Bearded Iris is unbelievably beautiful with violet and red merlot-colored ruffled falls. It’s hard to resist the allure of its large vibrant flowers! Easy to grow a...
'Brilliant Idea' Bearded Iris is a linen-white flower with rich, bright-blue edging along its lower petals, set against deep yellow-orange beards. Talk about drama! This beautiful ir...
'Speed Limit' Reblooming Bearded Iris captures the eye with its bold, deep-blue color. Its lower petals are each adorned with a pristine white spot directly in the center of each pet...
Planting Cover Crops in Summer: Cover crops are an easy way to add nutrients to your soil in areas where a vegetable crop has just passed, or new areas you’d like to plant in the fall. Summer is actually a great time to plant cover crops and you can do so in two ways:
Cover crops (like this Clover) can be planted in the summer or fall to add nutrients to the soil.
Planting Cover Crops in Fall: A more common use of cover crops is fall seeding, after everything has finished up for the year. Plant varieties like Clover and Vetch in colder areas after there have been a few hard frosts and the seed will lie dormant until the early spring. In warmer areas (like the South) plant just before the rainy season. The cover crops will grow quickly come spring and suppress any early spring weed growth, while also adding nutrients to the soil before it's time to plant your vegetables or flowers.
Some Of Our Favorite Quick-Growing Cover Crops:
Many spring-blooming bulbs (like Tulips and Daffodils) must be planted in the fall as they need months of near-freezing temperatures to grow and bloom.
Some of our favorite spring-blooming flowers, like Daffodils, Tulips, and Allium, have to be planted in the fall. These bulbs require 3-4 months of near-freezing temperatures to grow and bloom in your garden because they are native to colder regions (think: the Netherlands) and need this cold period. If you're in an area that doesn't receive this type of cold weather naturally, you can pre-chill the bulbs in your refrigerator and plant in early spring.
Learn how to chill spring-blooming bulbs.
But this is all good news for gardeners; we love the cool, crisp fall weather and jump at any excuse to get out and enjoy the garden this time of year. The term, “dig, drop, done” was coined about Fall-Planted Bulbs because they are so easy to grow. Add your favorite Daffodils, Tulips, and more to the the garden in fall and simply wait for a spectacular spring show of color!
Fall-planted perennials often grow and bloom in their first season.
While many think of spring as the best time to add perennials to the garden, fall is another great time plant, because:
Fall-seeded annual wildflowers (like Sunflowers and Cosmos) typically bloom two weeks earlier than if planted in the spring.
All wildflower seeding provides a jumpstart on spring growth and blooms, while also helping to suppress weed growth in the early spring. Many experts actually think fall wildflower planting is better than seeding in the spring for several reasons:
Although all of these different planting times may seem a bit challenging to keep up with, doing a little planting several times throughout the season is much easier -- and more rewarding -- than trying to cram everything in the few weeks in early spring. Also, succession planting allows you to let things grow for a bit and you can evaluate whether something needs to be moved or added in the next planting time, without having to wait all the way until next spring.
What are some of your favorite succession planting tips? Please share in the comments below!
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Prairie Violet sets itself apart from other Violas in that it’s not an aggressive grower and will not take over your garden. This native, drought tolerant wildflower offers up rich...
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With grass-like foliage and light blue, star-shaped flowers, Blue Eyed Grass will provide a lovely statement in any sunny or partially sunny area. Perennial. (Sisyrinchium)...