A Complete Guide on How & When to Seed Start Annual Garden Flowers Indoors: Save Money!

welcome to the rusted garden homestead

today's video is all about seed starting

annuals indoor it'll be a longer video

I'll put in a digital table of contents

in the description so you can jump

around but these are seven annuals that

I like starting I'll also be doing a

video in a couple of days on seed

starting perennials indoors and that

will be comprehensive too but let's

start with the difference perennial

plants are plants that can deal with a

freeze and a frost the root system

survived in the ground and they come

back the following year so they can take

a good freeze I'm in Maryland zone 7

today is February 6 and we get nights

that get into the teens we get good a

good freeze during our winter months so

perennials will survive that annuals

don't survive a hard frost they're

tender the root systems won't survive so

basically what happens is the frost

comes in kills off the top growth of the

annuals and then the freeze comes in

kills out the root system so you have to

plant these year after year now in some

cases your annuals may look like

perennials because they grow really fast

they bloom that's why we grow them

annuals are great for quick growth and

beautiful blooms and color in your

garden so once they flower they create

seed pods the seeds fall to where they

sit and then come next year sometimes

you see plants come back that's not

because of perennials that's because

they've dropped seed and the seed is

coming back so you can get them growing

back in the same space alright so

setting up the seed starting mix please

check out my twenty twenty series on

seed starting indoors it will go over

how you sterilize the seed starting mix

how you do pack the cells all that I

will put that in the video description

and I will link it to the video so when

you're starting annuals they grow much

more quickly I like to read the backs of

the packages because they're all gonna

vary and it'll tell you like the coleus

will germinate in ten to fifteen days I

put the germination dates on here this

way you don't have to keep flipping him

over snapdragons 10 to 14 days African

Daisy 7 to 14 days asters

Larkspur marigold zinnia that gives you

some idea of how long they're gonna have

to sit in your seat starting mixer in

your cells and the reason you want to

know about the time for germination or

how long it takes for them to germinate

is because when you're putting these

outdoors into the ground they need to go

outside after frost is gone if you put

them out because they're annuals because

they're tender plants if a frost comes

it's gonna damage your seed starts so

for instance the let's just say in

general the average last frost date for

the zone I'm in Maryland zone seven is

May first I add about two weeks to that

so I would plan for these to get out

into the garden about May 15th

so May 15th is the date that I'm picking

to put them outside and I don't have to

worry about frost these will just grow

and do what they're supposed to do so

one of the biggest mistakes people make

starting annuals indoors as they start

them all at the same time and they let

them grow way too long indoors if that

happens the plants go from growing green

leaves to starting to bloom and they

stay really small they become a little

bonsai plant so when you put them

outside they already have blooms on them

and they just don't take off and

flourish like you want they stay small

so it's really important that you kind

of go over what I'm talking about is you

want say two weeks worth of growth for

your zinnias you know that they take

five to ten days to bloom so you add in

seven days for germination period two

weeks worth of growth that means you

start the zinnias three weeks before

they would go outside that's the biggest

mistake again is people just let them

grow way too long indoors and then

they're disappointed when they don't

grow extremely well outdoors so the

reason you want to know about how long

they take to Germany is it also helps

you figure out when you want to start

them indoors so at the bottom I wrote

four weeks four weeks six to eight weeks

all the ones over here are six to eight

weeks and for the zinnia it's two weeks

and the reason that I pick two weeks

Rose inea's because they bloom in 35 to

80 days so I only need about two weeks

of growth indoors I get them out

the flowers come pretty quickly the

maracle's can bloom in 65 days I don't

want these to be seed starting and

sitting these cells for six eight ten

weeks inside because they're gonna want

to be blooming and they're gonna kind of

become bonsai plants or just get it

maybe you know go to this size and then

you're gonna start the flower they want

to flower quickly in sixty five days so

I'm gonna start these about four weeks

before they would go outside so that I

can time them I'm putting out green

leafy plants into the ground giving them

enough time to grow get large and then

they start flowering same thing with

Larkspur they bloom in sixty five days

so I'm gonna plan to get these out into

the ground in four weeks now I'll go

over the slowly this is what's important

so if I plan to get these out on let's

just say May fifteenth like I count back

to my four weeks that gives me April

fifteenth well they also take 21 to 28

days to germinate this bloom time

doesn't include time of germination it

includes the time after they germinate

and then how long they're growing so I

go back to the 15th of April and these

are gonna take three to four weeks to

germinate so then I'm gonna go back to

the lower number because I think these

I've always germinated more quickly for

me so I'm gonna go back four weeks so

when I believe they'll break the surface

and three weeks so when they have to be

planted so this is going to be seed

started seven weeks before the date that

I want them to get into my garden

same thing for marigolds which most of

us know what they are they bloom in 65

days I want these to be growing after

germination for four weeks they bloom

are they germinate really quickly so I'm

gonna start these five weeks before they

would go out to my garden on May 15th

hopefully that makes sense and I've kind

of set them up that way that two weeks

four weeks four weeks six to eight weeks

right in here and that's how I set up my

plants make sure you drop in

your markers so that you know what

you're growing and on the backs always

put the date so these are starting on to

six now of course none of this lines up

with the timeline I just told you these

are for prop plants to teach you how to

grow them so these are going to be

started a little a little bit not a

little bit but actually way too early

but we'll see how they do all right so

let me set up to get to planting annuals

so we'll start with the coleus they also

like shade they don't like afternoon Sun

so morning Sun is great wherever you

plant these make sure they're not

getting the summer sun in the later

hours of the afternoon or early

afternoon because the colors are going

to fade so they're much more colorful

when they have shade from really like

12:00 to 1:00 o'clock on these are grown

more slowly let's see if I can do this I

cut my thumb yesterday makes us a little

difficult there's small seeds and I

actually again kind of oversee these

I'll get a pinch the pinch might be you

know ten to twelve seeds and I put them

right on the surface so before I do the

call this since the seeds are so small I

press down the seed starting mix they

just have a nice solid planting base for

the coleagues and I'm just gonna take

that pinch you can divide these up later

and that whole handful is gonna go in

here I like calling us saying you don't

need to be perfect just get them in

there I'm gonna do another one here but

I won't do that for the video and then

once they're down just scratch them into

the surface you may encounter some seeds

that stay on the back they need to be

pressed into the surface they need light

to germinate that's more rare but just

read the seed packets that's why I like

to read them and then write on

frontieres' so it gives me an idea of

what I'm doing I don't have to keep

flipping the seed packets over if you

want to check out my seat shop I also

have a annual perennial mix package it's

a lot of seed packs perfect for the

annual video that I'm doing in perennial

video that I'll be doing and you can get

that for about a dollar a pack it's

really discounted all right so that's

the coleus and even though they say 25

to 40 days to blooming that that's

pretty quick for the coleus I like to

start them even closer to eight weeks

indoors to just start to get them to

size and then get them outside but

they're gonna take 10 to 15 days to

germinate if I'm picking these to go out

May 15th I would count back to April

15th March 15th and then I'm adding

about another week for germination to

have snapdragons one of my favorite

these are perfect for container plants

or for container gardens are perfect

plants for that these are small seeds to

almost look like the coleus and you're

just going to take a pinch and we're

going to divide these up we're also

starting the annuals in your standard

6-cell because these aren't going to be

growing a long time indoors

we're just going to get them germinated

we get to get some growth on them and

then we're just gonna pop them right

into the garden they can stay in these

smaller cells when I grow perennials

they're gonna be in here

sometimes 10 to 12 weeks I like using

the bigger cells so I don't have to keep

popping them up but I'll talk about that

in the next video on perennials and if

you need to see starting supplies check

out my seat shop I have all of that

there so snapdragons same thing small

seeds press the starting mix down make

sure that it's solid and then I just

grab the pinch 810 in there you get a

ton of seeds in the seed packets and

that will be my snapdragons these will

even even in the smaller cells they're

gonna grow quickly let me dump this back

in here and I will divide them up so

each one of these cells will get a nice

growth the snapdragons I'll split them

in half so I'll be planting 12 clusters

of snapdragons into my containers or

into my garden beds and again for these

you just have to scratch the surface

and then press them in the seed starting

mix is all pre-moistened that go over

that my seed starting series Esther's

beautiful flowers they do really well

here Maryland's own seven they're gonna

bloom for you in 80 days or so

I can't struggle with my bandage on

their finger so these are a little bit

bigger these are not that we don't

really need to press the surface and I'm

gonna put about two or three seeds into

a cell for these annuals you're really

wanting to grow I mean you could send

them down to one plant per cell but I

tend to oversee so two or three in there

and then you're just scratching them in

make sure they get covered about a

quarter of an inch deep don't worry

about the depth you're starting mixes

light they're gonna germinate if they're

sitting on the surface or you put them

down too far but a quarter of an inch is

a perfect guideline and then that's when

I just cover them up and then now you

press them in and they're just bigger

seeds they're a little bit deeper than

the smack draggin the coleus you have

two or three seeds in there I like to

put in two or three seeds also because

of the CG drop is not good doesn't

germinate then you got a waste itself

I'd rather just thin that that flower

out or that plant out African daisies

seven to fourteen days 50 to 80 days to

bloom again these are six to eight weeks

before and these are much larger seeds

and I will go with two and then well

that one kind of looks beat up so I'll

go with three there too

- and this is gonna save you so much

money I mean they're going to get to

full size let's grab this one and if

you're gonna buy like the single

containers of bigger annuals it's 2 or 3

dollars if you're buying them in 6 packs

which are hard to find anymore

sometimes it's 3 or 4 dollars it's

really worth starting seeds and doors

spending the money in the front end to

set up your grow lights get the supplies

grow lights will last 10 years once you

buy them you can reuse all this starting

cells and you're gonna be successful so

we get those down about a quarter of an

inch and it should cover them up and

again if you want to subscribe I'll show

you how I take care of these how I

fertilize them how we send them out how

we get them into the garden Larkspur I

love for weeks so if I had that May 15th

dark of date I would go to April 15th

and he's take 21 to 28 days to germinate

so I'd be starting these about seven

weeks before my target date larger seeds

taken a pinch that's five to ten seeds

probably per cell

don't I mean you can just do one see I

guess if you want but it's not

necessarily necessary when seeds fall

they fall in clusters that's how nature

does it and plants still come up they

look great and I would rather have

several plants in a space than just one

for your annuals because if you kept

them keep them fed you can't keep them

watered they're getting the right amount

of Sun they're all gonna grow and you're

gonna have tons and tons of blooms

quarter-inch precedent and then I think

you get the hang of it you can see

smaller seeds over seed I use more they

get pressed into the circle you press

the surface down then you drop them in

scratch them in bigger seeds about a

quarter of an inch and I would do the

same thing with the marigolds and the

zinnias they're bigger seeds so it'll be

two seeds per and even with the

marigolds I would not keep more than two

in there because they do grow really

fast same with the zinnias so you could

thin them to one plant per cell all

right let me take these off so they're

all labeled they're all planted and you

get small tiny really tiny seeds medium

seeds and larger seeds and that's just

the variation of how I plant them and

I've been doing that for years here are

some perennials that I'm growing in

different containers these are Chester

daisies this is verbena these are all

started I mean they look great and they

all get planted I'll show you that in

the next video

into the smaller cells I divide them up

and I move them into containers and it

works really well and perennials like if

you want by the time this verbena gets

outside it's gonna be really large and

that's a four to six dollar plant from a

nursery all right so we got the plants

in the next thing you want to do is

water and I always bottom water all

these cells have holes on the bottom

anything you plant it in each drainage

you fill this about a quarter the way

let these sit in here soak up the water

for about 20 or 30 minutes with practice

you get really good like this surface

these are kind of dark because I just

made the starting mix this is starting

mix that see if I can show it in here

sometimes it's hard with the lights but

this is really light up top that means

it dried out and that's when you know

the water your seat starting mix will go

from a dark brown to a light brown on

top because the tops always dried first

Moisture always stays at the lower part

of the cell

so after this turns a light brown in a

day or two you want to water it's a good

idea to let the surface of your seed

starting mix dry for a good day or two

because that helps manage problematic

fungus or molds let them dry and twenty

or thirty minutes if this was all light

the whole top would be dark you know

that it's done any excess water you

could dump out we'll talk about feeding

in future videos my seed starting mix is

set up with worm castings just a little

bit of worm castings but you don't need

any to start they're going to grow off

the seed itself and from the light for

germination I'm gonna take the camera

off the tripod and I'll show you how to

set these up for growing under the grow

lights after they get a good 2 week of

leaf growth they will get a water

soluble fertilizer that is diluted way

way way down

don't over feed your plants you can

damage them so once planted your plants

are gonna have to go under the grow

lights I highly recommend grow lights

putting them by a window is not going to

work in theory because you are seed

starting your annual flowers closer to

the warm weather periods in your zone

you could move them outside during the

day as long as about 40 degrees

Fahrenheit or warmer and then move them

in at night the problem is that if the

hard rain comes that can splash the

seeds out it can cause a problem fill up

your trays so I do recommend grow lights

check out the linked playlist for seed

starting indoors I'll go over in detail

about the lights and all that but I just

wanted to say when your seed starting

initially the light should be one to

three inches above your seed starts you

can see that these are actually cool

weather crops they just broke the

surface the other question I get is do I

have to leave my lights on before they

germinate and the answer is yes if your

plants germinate and you miss that

germination by 24 hours or sitting in

darkness for 24 hours they think they're

still in the soil they grow tall thin

they get lanky and they're sickly

looking because they're stretching for

the light you want them met soon as they

break the surface you want them met by

the light so turn your lights on before

germination now with the annuals they

will you know sometimes take 21 days to

bloom that means you don't have to you

know turn the lights on maybe for the

first 10 days but turn them on well

before the germination period that's on

the seed packet and you again you know

if you're doing shasta daisies they take

seven days locks part takes 21 so in

theory you really should turn the lights

on right away again it's a big mistake

people make they miss the germination

period by trying to save a little bit of

money by turning the lights on once the

seeds appear so you want them under the

light setup like this with the lights

being on 16 hours intense light is the

key and it'll be off for 8 hours and

once they break the surface my plants

standard here 10 to 14 days and then I

move them over to the other side of the

growth station where the lights are

taller when your plants are bigger they

don't need as much light the lights stay

on over there

12 to 14 hours and they do really well

over time when they get even bigger I

transition them up towards the window

and I've been begin acclimating them

outdoors so this is the general setup

that I use for starting all my plants

that works extremely well for annuals I

highly recommend trying to grow some

annuals it'll save you money it's a lot

of fun and there's just something more

rewarding about planting your little

transplants outdoors and watching them

bloom into beautiful flowers thanks for

watching and please check out my seed

shop at the rustic garden calm