Sowing Your Hardy Annuals in Spring

EVERYONE Get Sowing Your Hardy Annuals in Spring!

So What are Hardy Annuals I hear you ask!  Well, Hardy Annuals are quite simply flowers that grow each and every year.  They can withstand our winter frost and they self-seed in the autumn.  Hardy annual seeds can germinate, and the wee baby seedling should survive the winter. Or, the seeds can will remain dormant and germinate when the long awaited sunshine shows its face and the cold soil starts to warm up normally between late March and early April.

But mark my words, by far the most popular time to sow these little fellows as a flower grower is in the spring. You can successfully sow in late summer or early autumn (we’ll deal with autumnal sowing in another post).

The pleasing character that Hardy annuals have for the ardent cut flower grower is their plentitude!. Great word Plentitude, I love it. You cut and out they pop again giving you bucket loads of pretty flowers all season long.

Sowing Hardy Annual Flowers Directly Into The Soil

By far the easiest way if you already have a weed-free flower patch. It is a complete waste of time and energy to sow your seeds too early in the season.

Seeds sown too early will sit there moping around in the cold damp soil and will just end up as fodder for the ravenous seed eating wildlife.

I just don’t sow outside until its warm enough for me never mind the blooming seeds and that’s normally early to mid-April and even then, I’m only venturing out if the weather is looking like its stable and mild for the coming weeks.

Call me soft, I don’t care, stick and stones as the saying goes. I’m not called soft Bob for nothing you know!

Sowing Hardy Annual Flowers Directly Into The Soil
Larkspur & Nicotiana

I like my flower beds to have three rows of flowers in them each a foot apart. Three feet wide is a good width.  If you haven’t got much room then make the paths between the beds narrower but if you have the space it is better to have enough room for a wheelbarrow.

Before you sow, give your soil a good dig over until it’s a nice fine tilth and is totally weed free. Add a good amount of smelly compost if you can as it will keep the soil warmer and free draining also helping it from becoming too compacted.

Oh yes, very professional indeed!

When in your wisdom or in your bones, you have decided that it is warm enough to venture outside and  sow your seeds, sow them thinly in straight lines and in shallow drills.

Three lines straight down the entire length of the bed. Then cover your seeds with a light covering of soil. 3mm – 4mm is perfectly adequate. Remember, they are seeds and not moles.

Water your moles, oops I mean seeds sparingly and gently. There is a pretty good chance that in the month of April the soil already has enough moisture content to allow the seeds to germinate. Too much H20 will just make them miserable. Seeds that are sown outdoors will take a few weeks to show.

Be patient, let them do their own thing and if you feel inclined, sing to them but no songs by the Beatles! They are easily scared.

When the seedlings are about the size your thumb, thin them out to about a 12 inches apart. Remember don’t stop the weeding. Weeds will grow fast and furiously and can take over your flower beds if left to their devious devices. Your should start to see the rewards of your hard work with lots of flowers appearing in or around June, “depending on what the weatherman says“.

Sowing Hardy Annuals Undercover

I don’t mean you have to wear a cap and a raincoat and pretend to be Inspector Clouseau!

I mean sowing in a greenhouse or shed, into pots before planting outside!  To some this might sound a bit of a chore, however it has a massive advantage in that your weeds are all but eradicated.

Personally, around the start of April, I sow into 7.5cm pots. Use a good quality compost to sow your seeds..

If you don't have one, then storage boxes make a great mini-greenhouse
If you don't have one, then storage boxes make a great mini-greenhouse

Using this method, your seedlings can happily spend their time in these pots until mid to late May when all of the inclement weather has gone. It goes without saying, but I will say it anyway, you need to keep them watered.

If you choose this method you can ensure your beds are weed free before you plant your seedlings. Last but not least, stick some mulch around the seedlings.

Personally, I use a layer of compost, this helps keep the weeds at bay and the moisture content up. As per usual, after planting you can really just let your plants get on with doing their own thing. Just make sure the bed is moist and doesn’t dry out.

Q: Dear O-bob-Wan Kenobi, What are the best Laurel and Hardy Annual Flowers To Grow?

A: Ha, My advice you want it is?  Well, this of course, is down to personal choice.

Pretty much all of the flowers we stock are ideal for those that are new to the game of flower growing. In my humble opinion, I think it is more important to grow a variety of different flowers.

Here are some of the ones I would not be without…  Calendula, Cornflowers, Larkspur, Phacelia.

Larkspur Bee Seeds Company
Phacelia Bee Seeds Company

If you have any questions please ask away.  You can find me on Twitter or Facebook Should you wish you can join Bee Seeds Club for newsletters and discount codes.

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