May 20, 2022


By Marco Hernandez

Although we’ve selected very adaptable species, just sprinkling the flower seeds over existing vegetation won’t do. Flowers grow best in a well-prepared area. Follow the planting instructions below. 

What you’ll need:

  • Bag of Swell Seed Co seed
  • Seed spreader (drop, broadcast or by hand)
  • Rake and/or soil tiller
  • Roller or feet for stomping
  • Sprinkler (if supplemental water is needed)

Choose the area: Most flowers do best in areas that receive a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight per day.

When to plant: Planting in the correct season ensures proper germination and strong establishment. Ideally, plant at the beginning of the rainiest season to limit supplemental moisture.

  • Spring: In most states, plant in the early spring before the heat of summer and stressful conditions. Plant after any chance of frost and wait for the soil and air temperatures to warm up to about 55ºF.
  • Fall: Planting in the fall is a better option for colder states that have a true winter. Plant after a hard frost when the soil temperature is below 45ºF so the seeds won’t germinate. The seeds will go dormant during the winter and establish early in the spring.

Prepare the seed: The flower seed will likely come mixed with inert material such as sand or corn grit. The seed will be easier to spread with less clumps and will contrast the soil so you can see where you’ve seeded. If you receive straight seed, mix to a 10:1 ratio (10 inert material: 1 seed) prior to spreading. A little tip, over time the seeds settle together. Shake the bag up before seeding to distribute the seeds evenly throughout the inert material.

Clear the area: Remove rocks, roots, stumps, existing plants, and anything in the soil that will compete with the seeds for sunlight, water, and nutrients. Do so by using a rake, harrow, or other method, depending on the size of the area and your preference. Be sure to start this process a few weeks ahead of time - clearing the area may require more than one attempt.

Work & smooth out the soil: Till or rake to smooth out and level the area. Rake until soil particles are between the size of a marble and a pea. Till to a depth of 4-6 inches. It is important to till/rake right before seeding so the soil is easy to work with and not crusty.

Seed spreader: Calibrate according to the spreader instructions and seeding rate. Make adjustments while seeding if needed. A slower setting is better since you can always go over the area again but if the setting is too fast you may run out of seed before covering the entire area.

Planting Instructions:

1. Divide the seed into 2 equal parts. Using a drop or broadcast spreader, spread the first ½ of the seed in a north-south pattern and the second ½ in an east-west pattern for uniform coverage. For small areas, broadcast seed by hand.

2. Incorporate the seed into the soil to ensure proper seed to soil contact:

  • Lightly rake the seeded area no deeper than ¼ inch. You should be able to see about 10% of the seed.
  • For larger areas, firm the raked soil with a roller and for smaller areas or spot seeding, firm the soil by stepping on it.
  • * If you rake or firm the soil too much, the seed will be too deep to receive any sunlight or moisture and may not germinate properly.

3. Water! Keep the soil moist by relying on rain water or by using a sprinkler until seeds begin to germinate (or in this case, Swell). If supplemental moisture is needed, water daily until the seeds have germinated and the seedlings are 4-6 inches tall, about 4-6 weeks. After this, the seedlings can rely on rain water or supplemental water as needed.

4. Germination time varies by species, but flower seeds should germinate within 21 days with proper care. Annual varieties bloom in about 6-12 weeks and most perennial varieties will bloom the year after being planted.

5. While seedlings establish, keep traffic to a minimum to ensure a strong root system develops.

6. For more recommendations to keep your newly planted flowers looking Swell, refer to the Future Care guide.