I hope your weekend was good. It was so lovely to be out in the garden this weekend, these longer days mean that a little progress is being made out there, weeds are gradually being dug out… there’s something nicely therapeutic about weeding.
I’ve been checking my stash of hardy-annual seeds, making sure I have enough of my favourites. They’re invaluable if you want to grow some flowers for cutting, or just make the garden a bit more colourful, because they don’t need a whole lot of cosseting and they’re very good value.These are some of the hardy-annuals I’ll be planting:
Dill, beautiful acid-green flowers
Ammi majus, a refined cow parsley
Opium poppies, say no more, who would want to be without these
Euphorbia oblongata, probably one of the best to grow, the lime-green flowers look good with all flower colours and help to bulk out bunches .
English marigolds [calendula officinalis], a lovely shade of burnt orange
Cornflowers [centaurea cynarus]
No coaxing along with warmth and shelter, these seeds go straight into the ground. All they need is a sunny spot, and it’s good to get the soil ready by hoeing it and breaking up the lumps, aim for soil that’s fine enough for them to easily push through once they’ve germinated.
I have to curb my enthusiasm and resist planting seeds too early, as soon as weed-seeds start to grow, I’ll know that the soil is warm enough.
They’re easy to identify from random weeds if they’re sown in straight rows.
- Make a shallow dip in the soil, water it then sow the seeds thinly, cover with soil. Generally, the finer the seed, the less cover it needs.
- Water them every couple of days if it doesn’t rain.
- Thin out the seeds as they grow so there’s enough room for them to develop, taking out the smaller onessee also seed packet for spacing info.
- Thin again as they get bigger.
- Support taller ones or they’ll sprawl everywhere and have wonky stems. Stretch netting over the tiny plants and tie it to canes.
- Big plants like sunflowers may need to be dug up and moved, so they have enough space to grow, tie them to their own stout stake.
- Water them generously twice a week and keep weeds at bay.
I’ve got a bit more time for weeding and getting the soil ready before sowing, which is just as well, do you have any plans for growing flowers from seed?
You can buy seeds here from Mr Higgledy, and you get free P & P on orders over 15 pounds.
all photos: Jill Anderson.