Did you know that some seeds are much easier to direct sow than they are to start indoors? Yep, it’s true! So in this post, I put together a list of the easiest seeds to direct sow to get you started…
After a few years of trial-and-error, I began to experiment with starting seeds both indoors and direct sowing (i.e.: planting) them right in my garden. I literally tossed my leftover seeds into the garden in the spring just to see what would grow.
It turns out that some seeds will grow better when planted directly into the garden. And direct planting some types of seeds is SO MUCH easier than starting them indoors. So I decided to put together this list of the easiest seeds to direct sow in your garden to help you get going…
17 Easiest Seeds To Direct Sow
Below I have broken my list of easy seeds to direct sow down into two sections. The first one is for vegetables and herbs. Then below that, the second section is my favorite flowers that are easiest to direct sow.
Easy Direct Sow Vegetables And Herbs
Here you will find some of the best vegetable and herb seeds to plant directly in your garden. These seeds either have a short enough growing season, or they are frost tolerant and can be sown directly into the garden as soon as the ground thaws in early spring.
1. Dill – Fresh dill is not only great in recipes, it’s also a host plant for the black swallowtail butterfly (so be sure to plant extra for them too!). Sprinkle the seeds over the garden in late winter or very early spring. Try growing these dill seeds in your garden this year.
2. Pumpkin – Pumpkin seeds are super easy to grow. They do best when planted in the garden because transplanting the seedlings can stunt their growth. Sow the seeds 2 weeks after your last frost once the soil has warmed up in the spring. Sugar Pie is perfect for baking, and Jack-O’-Lantern is the type to grow for large pumpkins.
3. Radishes – Cold hardy radishes will survive frost, so the seeds can be planted very early. Cherry Belle are my go-to, but white radish and Watermelon radish are both fun to grow too. Plant the seeds as soon as the soil can be worked in early spring. Learn how to grow radishes from seed here.
4. Lettuce – Lettuce is another wonderful cold season crop that can be direct sown very early in the spring. A few of my favorite kinds to grow are a mesclun mix, Valentine and Romaine Rouge. Sow them 2-4 weeks before average last frost. Learn how to grow lettuce from seed here.
5. Cilantro – Cilantro also grows best in cool weather, and will go to seed as soon as it warms up in early summer. So be sure to plant them at least 2 weeks before your last spring frost date. Here are some good cilantro seeds to get you started.
6. Squash – Squash seedlings don’t like to being transplanted, so that’s why they should be direct sown. Plant the seeds once the soil is warm in the spring (about 2-4 weeks after your last frost). Zucchini, Butternut and Delicata are my favorites.
7. Spinach – Spinach is another cool weather vegetable that will bolt (go to seed) as soon as it gets warm in the summer. Here’s a good, longer standing variety you can try. Direct sow seeds outdoors as soon as the ground can be worked first thing in early spring. Learn how to grow spinach from seed here.
8. Beans – A great seed for beginners to grow, beans are best to direct sow rather than starting them indoors. Plant the seeds directly into your garden after all danger of frost in late spring. Kentucky Wonder and purple pole beans are two good vining types, otherwise try Blue Lake bush beans.
9. Cucumber – Cucumbers don’t like to be transplanted, so it’s best to direct sow the seeds. Wait until the soil has warmed a few weeks after frost in the spring, and then plant the seeds in a full sun location. My favs are Marketmore and picklers. Get step-by-step instructions for growing cucumber seeds here.
10. Peas – Peas are frost hardy, so you can plant them early. Sow the seeds directly into your garden 4-6 weeks before your spring planting date, once the soil is workable. I love to grow snow peas and sugar snap peas.
11. Carrot – You should always direct sow carrot seeds because any type of root disturbance can lead to deformities. A few good varieties that I grow are your basic garden carrot, or try a smaller variety for heavier soil. Plant the seeds 3-6 weeks before the last spring frost, once the soil is workable. Learn how to grow carrots from seed here.
12. Beet – Beets are not only delicious, they add wonderful color to the garden. Sow outside 2-4 weeks before average last frost for an early summer crop. Soak the seeds 8-24 hours before planting for better germination. Dark red beets are gorgeous, and so is this colorful mix!
Easy Direct Sow Flower Seeds
If you’re interested in direct sowing flower seeds, then this section is for you! Some of these seeds can simply be sprinkled over the garden in the fall or early spring, while others will need a little more help from you to get planted.
13. Morning glory – Morning glories won’t tolerate the cold, and direct sowing the seeds too early could stunt their growth. Wait until the soil has warmed before planting the seeds in late spring (a few weeks after last frost). Soak the seeds for 12-24 hours before planting for faster germination. Here’s a great morning glory seed mix for you to try.
14. Calendula – Calendula are easy to grow by direct sowing the seeds. Either sprinkle them around the garden in the fall, or plant them as soon as the ground can be worked in early spring. Calendula Zeolights and Resina are both lovely varieties to grow.
15. Snapdragon – You probably didn’t know this, but snapdragon flowers are frost hardy. Sprinkle the seeds over your garden in the fall, or as soon as the soil can be worked in very early spring. I like to plant a snapdragon color mix, but I also love Night and Day.
16. Sunflower – After years of trying to get them to grow indoors, I discovered that sunflowers are WAY easier to direct sow. Plant them in full sun 1-2 weeks after your average last spring frost date. This red mix is gorgeous, and you can never go wong with Lemon Queen.
17. Petunia – Petunias will also tolerate the cold, and are easy to direct sow. Simply sprinkle the seeds over the garden, and gently press them into the soil in fall or early spring. Purple Wave is fantastic, but you should also try Frappe Rose and Red Velour.
There are tons of different types of seeds than can be planted directly in the garden. But if you’re a newbie, it’s best to start with the easiest seeds to direct sow. Then once you gain some confidence, you can move on to experimenting with other types of seeds next.
If you want to learn everything you need to know in order to grow all of your plants from seed, then you should take my online Seed Starting Course. This fun, self-paced, and comprehensive online course will show you all that you need to know to be successful, and walk you through every detail step-by-step. Enroll and start today!
Otherwise, if you just need a refresher for growing seeds indoors, then check out my Starting Seeds Indoors eBook. It’s a quick-start guide for beginners that will have you growing your own seeds inside in no time.
More Posts About Growing Seeds
- A Beginner’s Guide To Growing Vegetables From Seed
- 23 Easiest Vegetables To Grow from Seed
- 13 Easy Annual Flowers To Grow From Seed
- 17 Easiest Seeds To Start Indoors
Leave a comment below and tell me your top choices for the easiest seeds to direct sow.