Hardy Annuals can be sown directly where they are needed to flower. You can sow the seeds in late March or early April.
Make sure that the ground – bed – is well prepared and not too lumpy. Mark out some areas of irregular shape on the soil and simply sprinkle the seed thinly. Bear in mind that those small seeds can produce a plant that is 12in (30cm) across in a few months!
Read the packet, and understand just how big each plant can grow. Of course we all ‘over-sow’ for safety so don’t think of placing seeds individually where you want the plants to grow – scatter them well. Hardy Annuals normally have a good ‘helping’ of seeds in the packet to allow for a bit of over-indulgence!
After scattering the seeds, lightly rake over the soil to part bury
the seeds, and then water well in. It maybe a good idea to put a label
in place for each variety. Then you know what they were - for planting
next year if you liked them. Don’t rely on putting the paper packet in,
for any slugs present will strip off the printed section! It always
Birds are normally hungry at end of March or early April – so a net might be necessary. Nets also help to keep neighbour’s cats off your newly sown hardy annuals. Your cat will be well trained of course!
The new seedlings will start to emerge after
a couple of weeks of warm weather – perhaps sooner. If the seedlings
seem a bit crowded, then you can thin them out. If you are careful with
the thinning, a bunch of hardy annual seedlings will often please a
neighbour or friend. Water them well BEFORE removing them from the
planted area, and remove them at a cool part of the day.
Taller plants can be supported with canes, whilst sweet peas and the like will be happy to ramble up over some inserted birch twigs or similar. You could splash out and get a wire frame from the garden centre. The twigs are less obtrusive!
Sit back and enjoy your feast of colour from sowing Hardy Annuals - All for just a few pounds!
Why - It is easy - no bending for a start!
When - Late March or early April is a good time
Where - Wherever you want a splash of colour in your summer garden
What - get a few packets of hardy annuals from your garden centre or seed catalogue
Who - Anyone can do it. Involve the kids!