Is there a way to avoid thinning annual seedlings in my garden?

Every year I sow annual flowers directly in my garden, but they come up so thickly that I need to thin out many of them. It seems like such a waste. Is there some way that I can avoid having to thin out the extra seedlings?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Flower seedlings growing too closely together create competition just as weeds do. So leaving the extra seedlings in place is not a good option. You may be able to dig up the excess seedlings and transplant them to another area of the garden. That way you won?t waste any of them. You could also sow the seeds at a wider spacing using one of several options. Some garden centers and mail order catalogs carry seed tapes with seeds embedded at preset intervals. Roll out the seed tape where you want the flowers to grow, and wait for them to sprout. This option costs more than seed alone, but might be worth it to avoid the need to thin the seedlings. Precision seeders are tools that pick up one seed at a time and plant it at a spacing of your choice. An inexpensive method is to mix sand with your flower seeds before you sow them. The sand adds bulk to the mix, creating wider spacing of the seeds.

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