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.

TRY DIFFERENT PATTERNS
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!

IS FERTILIZING NECESSARY?
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, PERENNIAL OR BIENNIAL?
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.


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