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Self-seeders are a Gardener's Delight

By Jean Longo-Anderson for Gardening For All Seasons

Annuals are great for filling in holes in your garden and they give you a lot of color, but you have to purchase them every year or start them by seed in February or March on your window sill. Perennials are wonderful and they come up every year in the same spot but you should split them every three years or so, unless you have room for them to spread or don't mind the wild look. They can also be expensive.

Then there are the self-seeders.

Self-seeders are "volunteers" that self-sow themselves and multiply to their gardener's delight in most cases. These can be either annuals or perennials including herbs and vegetables. Some examples of Self-seeders: Cosmos, forget-me-nots, datura, foxglove, moss rose, perilla, morning glories, calendulas and larkspur will pop up in spring.

Some gardeners think they are perennials because they can come up in the same spot year after year. You think they are, but they are not perennials - they are self-seeders. These are wonderful volunteers in the garden. They will drop their seeds in the fall only to have them winter over in the garden and they sprout in the spring.

Sometimes a beginner gardener will pull them up thinking that they are gone, but there they are again the next spring! Some self-seeders can be very invasive and take over your gardens. When this happens, you may pull them out like weeds. It is better to figure out which ones you like before you let them re-seed themselves. Do a little research to see which ones you will like that are best suited for your soil and environment. There is a lot of information to be found online, just by doing a search for self-seeders or self-planters.

Most of these plants are easily transplanted which is good because they can pop up almost anywhere. You can combine a lot of these self-seeders and create a very nice "wild flower" garden that could be very easy to maintain and attract butterflies and birds. I do have many of these varieties available for sale from my garden. Contact me for more information on starting a wild flower garden in your backyard. Reference.

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