Now is the time to start planning and planting your seeds if you are going to grow your own annual plants for summer flower. It may seem like alot of work if they are only going to last 1 year, but the benefits are huge, giving you flower beds and pots full of lovely flowers all summer long.
It’s much cheaper to grow from seed (around £2 for 150 seeds) compared to buying ready made plants (up to £7 per plant). You can pick and choose from a much wider range of plants and colours that those on offer in a garden centre. Annuals usually flower much more profusely than perennials and they only have one summer to do their work.
Just stick to a few simple rules and you can fill your borders and pots with an amazing display this summer.
First choose seeds that are “easy grow” varieties as some are tricky to get started. Usually annuals will just romp away without too much difficulty.
Second – always read the instructions on the packet carefully and follow them to the letter. Sow at the right time and at the right depth.
Third – if you are planting in the ground make sure the soil is warm – not cold and water logged. Rake the soil to give it a fine crumbly surface ready for sowing. Otherwise plant in seed trays using seedling compost for best results, and then plant on into bigger containers or into the ground later.
Then it’s just a matter of keeping them watered and weed-free. Here are some suggestions…
Cosmos – beautiful big blooms with fern-like leaves, some varieties grow to well over 1m tall.
Stocks – plant in pots by your door or along a path to make the most of their beautiful fragrance in the evenings.
Sweet Peas – grow them up a trellis or bamboo canes and keep picking the flowers regularly to keep them blooming.
Nasturtium – bright and cheerful flowers all summer long. Keep an eye out for those caterpillars though.
Nigellas – beautiful blue flowers and delicate leaves, flowers May and June.