Home & Garden Garden 5 Easy Flowers to Start From Seed in Your Garden By Ramon Gonzalez Writer Columbia College Chicago Roman Gonzalez is the creator of the urban gardening blog MrBrownThumb, founder of the Chicago Seed Library, and a co-founder of One Seed Chicago. our editorial process Ramon Gonzalez Updated October 11, 2018 Ramon Gonzalez / MrBrownThumb.blogspot.com Share Twitter Pinterest Email Garden Planting Guides Indoor Gardening Urban Farms Insects If you’re trying to overcome your seed starting fear by growing the five easy vegetables I recommended growing from seed, add these five annuals to your garden too. Even if the goal of your garden is to grow your own food you need flowers to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects to your garden. 1. Sunflowers Sunflowers aren't supposed to take well to transplanting so sow the seeds directly into the ground when the weather warms up. Small sunflowers grown for cuttings can be sown in large pots, but for a dramatic effect grow some of the giant varieties like ‘Mammoth.’ At the base of sunflowers, you can plant beans that will up the sunflower stalk as support. 2. Marigolds At the talk by Diane Ott Whealy, co-founder of Seed Savers Exchange, that I attended this year she mentioned that the recent marigold hybrids lack the scents that make them good insect repellents and companions in the vegetable garden. Marigolds are easy to start from seed, either in containers or in the ground. If you're growing marigolds for their bug-repellent qualities choose an old variety. 3. Cosmos Cosmos is a very pretty annual that no garden should be without. Cosmos do well in poor soil and the blooms (pictured above) make excellent cut flowers and attract plenty of bees and butterflies into a garden. 4. Nasturtium The seeds of nasturtium when prepared are called "poor man's capers." The young foliage and flowers of nasturtiums are edible and make good additions to salads and soups where you want to add a peppery taste. Nasturtiums are also good trap crops, meaning that garden pests like aphids are attracted to it. You can pick off the stems and blooms with aphids attached and dispose of them before they reach your vegetable garden. 5. Zinnia Zinnias seeds are so easy to germinate in the ground as soon as it warms up that it is a waste to start them indoors. Just sow the seeds into the ground or container when the soil is warm. Zinnia blooms also make good additions to homegrown bouquets.