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Did you know you can use fall planting techniques to greatly increase your home’s landscaping? And the best part is that it is completely free! At the end of the garden season, you can quickly and easily create new landscape areas by harvesting your own seed and spreading the color and texture for new growth in the spring.
In this article, we will talk about several types of plants that work well for reseeding purposes. If you don’t have very many plants, you can get free seeds by asking a neighbor or coworker if you could harvest some seed stalks from their plants. Most people will be flattered that you think they have a great garden and will be happy to oblige.
Spend some time in the crisp, fall air browsing your yard and garden for likely candidates for your reseeding project. Plants that work well for this purpose include the following:
Blossoms of chamomile, black-eyed Susan, cone flowers, and any other perennial flower that creates seed in its blossoms. You can do this with sunflowers, as well. Many annuals, such as violets and violas, alyssum, and marigolds can be used. Cut the flowers with dried seed heads. Be sure to leave as much length on the cut stem as possible. Tie the seed bundle with a bright ribbon or mark the placement of the bundle with a garden stake. This way, you will be able to find it in the spring.
Squash of all varieties, pumpkins, and tomatoes do well. Tomatoes won’t germinate until the ground warms up, however. Cucumbers, onions, lettuce, carrots and chives do well. For reseeding squash, pumpkin, cucumbers, and tomatoes, just toss the vegetable onto the ground where you want it to come up next year. As the winter progresses, the squash or tomato will break down and allow the seeds to come in contact with the ground, as nature intended. In the spring, just work the seeds and remains of the produce into the ground, turning several times so that the seed isn’t buried too deep. Keep the ground damp until germination. For reseeding onions, garlic, carrots, chives, and lettuce, create seed bundles and drop them where you want them to take root and grow in the spring. Make sure the seed doesn’t fall out before it gets to the new spot by laying the cuttings on a newspaper or piece of plastic. Grocery bags made of plastic work very well for this purpose. Just put the cutting into the bag head first, so that when the tiny seeds fall out, they stay with the bundle while you carry it to the intended spot.
Maple trees are a good candidate for fall seeding. Seed pods from maple trees can be found almost anywhere. They resemble a small wing with a seed the size of a pea at one end. In the fall, simply lodge the seed in soft ground where you want the tree to grow. Place two or three good-sized rocks around the seed and then mulch over the seed or put a fine sprinkling of dirt over it. Come springtime, you should have a small tree!
This herb is a garden show-stopper all season long. Known for its stress-reducing and relaxing properties, the tea is a top seller everywhere. It is easy to grow chamomile. All it needs is a little sun and water. The dainty clumps of white blooms make a garden pop in the evenings and early morning. In most climates, it grows as a perennial, as well as spreading its seeds for new growth wherever the seed lands.
If you want to create pockets of chamomile in other areas of your landscape, simply cut the bloom stalks in the fall and drop several wherever you want your new plants to come up in the spring. This works great along fences and against outbuildings. If you are placing seed stalks in areas that are vulnerable to wind, be sure to put something heavy on the stalks to hold the seed in place throughout the winter. You can use a rock, a stick, or even a garden stake to keep the seed stalks from blowing away.
Calendula plants are an easy-to-grow flower that will brighten any landscape. These plants grow to around 18 inches tall, and take on a bushy nature, or growing habit. These plants are known for having healing properties for conditions such as skin irritations. The vivid yellow and orange blooms make a great addition to cut flower arrangements, and the unique garden green of the leafy foliage also acts as ground cover, choking out the growth of weeds due to its thick and bushing tendencies.
To create new pockets of growth, drop fall cuttings of dried blooms and stems. Don’t worry if there are fresh blooms mixed in with the dried ones. Drop and weigh down the seed bundle, and you are done. If you want to create a sweep of colorful ground cover, you can scatter seed and foliage over a large area. Using grass clippings or other cuttings to act as a mulch mat.
These plants are mostly sun-loving, so be sure to place the seed bundles where they will get lots of light. Again, the seeds are fairly small, as are the seeds of the chamomile. Plants like these are perennial. You can cut the plant four to six inches from the ground, and place the entire bundle of cuttings in the new area, or divide the bundle into several bunches. When spring comes you will have two or more areas with bright color pops.
© 2017 Nancy Owens
Nancy Owens (author) from USA on October 18, 2017:
The challenge where you live now would probably be in keeping the ground damp so that the seedlings could sprout when they are ready.
Nancy Owens (author) from USA on October 18, 2017:
Hi Linda! Thank you for taking the time to read and to leave a comment. There are so many wonderful plants, shrubs, and trees that can be gleaned free of charge simply by being aware of nature's own distribution process. I got an old cast iron pot from a yard sale, brought it home and set it in my garden. It was already full of old potting soil that I just left inside the pot. Lo and behold, the next spring I was surprised with a locust tree sapling and a Japanese maple type shrub, both of which had sprouted from seeds in the pot, Lol!
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 17, 2017:
This is an interesting and useful article. Thanks for sharing all the tips. I like the idea of starting a reseeding project very much.
Dianna Mendez on October 17, 2017:
I remember having to prune and mulch all our plants when we lived up north. Here in South Florida there is rarely any change in seasons to deal with. I enjoyed reading about the tips for fall changes.