The Q&A Archives: Too late to plant?

Question: Hello! We've been in our home almost three years and I'm new to gardening. I would like to have some colorful plants in the front of my home and in my backyard. Is it too late to plant some varieties that will come up next year? I bought a bunch of seed packets but they should have been planted in early or mid spring. Can I still plant them? Thanks for your help.

Answer: The answer really depends upon what seeds you have. In nature, some annuals and perennials reseed themselves (drop seeds onto the soil). The seeds usually hang around until spring the following year. With these types of plants you can sow your seeds now (look on the back of the package for words such as "self-sowing" or "freely self-seeding" or "reseeds itself"). These types of seeds you can sow in now. In August you can also sow seeds of "cool weather" plants because they will germinate and grow in the cooler months of autumn. Anything that needs a long, hot season to grow, such as sunflowers, probably won't have time to grow and flower before the weather changes. If you really need some color in your garden now, I'm sure you can find little six-packs of flowering annuals in the garden center. Invest in a few of these for instant color. And, who knows, they may reseed themselves and show up again next year.

Best wishes with your garden!

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