A seed is the product of a ripened ovule in gymnosperms and angiosperms. It consists of an embryonic plant and stored food all enclosed in a protective coat.
In angiosperms, fertilization involves the participation of two male nuclei in double fusion with the egg cell and central cell to form the zygote. The zygote develops into an embryo and the endosperm, which is normally triploid.
Sunflowers are an easy, low-maintenance flower to grow and enjoy. They also are an excellent weed suppressant and attract pollinators to the garden.
They are also a healthy source of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. Eating sunflower seeds can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep you feeling full longer.
You can grow sunflowers as an ornamental in your landscape, or you can harvest the seed heads for your own use. The sunflower seed kernels are rich in protein, dietary fiber, and essential fats.
These nutrients are important for promoting healthy digestion, blood sugar control, and a sense of satiety, says registered dietitian Maxine Yeung.
There are several varieties of sunflowers that have colorful blooms and work well in gardens, including ‘Autumn Beauty’ and ‘Lemon Queen’. ‘Autumn Beauty’ produces branching stems of flowers in tones of yellow, orange, bronze and red. ‘Lemon Queen’ is another good choice with soft, fluffy gold blossoms 4″ to 6″ across.
Marigolds are a garden staple with their bright, cheery flowers that are perfect for adding color and excitement to the vegetable garden. They are especially good as companion plants with other vegetables to control pests and deter weeds.
They are also great for attracting pollinators. Plant marigolds in areas of your yard that receive full sun and have well-draining soil.
Seeds can be sown directly into the garden or cultivated indoors. For the best results, sow your marigold seeds 6-8 weeks before your average last frost date.
To start your marigold seeds, prepare a container with a shallow layer of soil, mixed with peat or soddy soil (or a mixture of equal parts) and a small amount of compost. After a week, you can transplant the seedlings into flower beds.
Marigolds are very easy to grow and are virtually fool proof for even the novice gardener. However, they can have some issues with soft-bodied pests like aphids and spider mites, so monitor and treat when you see them.
Petunias are a great way to add colorful flowers to your garden, and they come in all shapes and sizes. They are especially popular for window boxes and planters.
In addition to being versatile, they are also hardy and disease resistant. To help them thrive, they require frequent fertilization with diluted liquid fertilizer either sprayed on the foliage or poured onto the soil.
For the best results, plant petunia seeds indoors 8 – 10 weeks before your last spring frost date. Transplant young plants after they are hardened and have three leaves.
Generally, it takes 10 to 12 weeks for petunia seeds to sprout and flower. During this time, they may be prone to pests and other issues that can interfere with their development.
Infected petunias may skeletonize, so it is important to remove damaged flowers and foliage as soon as they appear. If you notice any large numbers of tomato hornworms or yellow woolybears infesting your petunias, spray them with insecticide while the caterpillars are still feeding.
Zinnias are one of the most popular annuals in the garden because they produce a long-lasting, colorful display of flowers that attracts butterflies and other pollinators. They are easy to grow, tolerant of heat and drought and make excellent cut flowers for bouquets.
These annuals can be sown directly outdoors as early as the average last frost date or in late June as succession planting. Once established, keep the soil moderately moist to encourage blooms and deadhead frequently for continuous flowering.
Sow a variety that will provide the longest flowering season, such as ‘Red Stripes’, which will bloom continuously from mid-June through fall. Zinnias also perform well in beds, as edging or in containers.
Zinnias are available in almost any color and can be grown in single, double or button-flowered varieties, with a wide range of flower forms. The scabiosa-flowered ‘Cupcake’ is especially fun for adding a touch of texture to arrangements, with frilly pompom-topped blooms.