Seed Mats

STEP 1: Select a site which receives at least 4-6 hours of sunlight each day and is somewhat protected from the wind.

STEP 2: Prepare the soil to a depth of 3-4" and the same size as the mat.

STEP 3: Carefully lay out the mats with "this side up" facing up.

STEP 4: Cover each mat completely with no more than 1/8" soil. This will hold the mat down and allow flower seeds to easily germinate. For best results, use a commercial sterile potting soil.

STEP 5: Soak the mat entirely (preferably using a hose with a fine spray) until mat is saturated and appears to melt into the soil. Continue to keep the mat moist until plants are established (2-3" high). CHECK DAILY to be sure the top 1" of soil is moist. After the seeds have sprouted, water as necessary.

STEP 6: Young plants are very tender. Protect them from pets and cover them if a late frost is anticipated.

STEP 7: Plants may be thinned out when estaablished and transplanted to other garden areas. Early Growth of many flowers resembles weeds - DO NOT WEED PLANTING AREA FOR THE FIRST 3-4 WEEKS.

You don't need to leave your seed mat as one long border. Cut it up into different shapes, and spread it out! You can plant spring-flowering bulbs in between the pieces. Since some perennials do not bloom until the second year, you can mix them in with a first-year border to provide instant color while the perennials mature. There's no one right way - it's up to you!

Some flowers will bloom in poor soils, but most will benefit from some fertilizer. If your soil needs to be improved, use a low nitrogen fertilizer with a 5-10-10 ratio or add organic matter such as weed-free straw or grass clippings, peat moss, well-rotted compost, or leaf mold. These will enhance soil texture and encourage the growth of beneficial microorganisms. Over fertilizing can promote weeds and lush foliage instead of flowers.

Annual - Plants that complete their entire growing cycle within a single season. They grow, bloom and produce seed, then die back completely.
Biennial - These plants need two years to complete their growing cycle. Leaves form the first year, then flowers and seed the following year
Perennial - Plants that come back each season. Most perennials planted from seed will bloom their second season, and each year thereafter.