There’s not too much to be done in the garden in January, unless you’re planning a new garden like I’m supposed to be … more of that another time. Not having to be in the garden too much, means more time inside planning what to grow this year.
Firstly, check what seed-packets are left over from last year and be ruthless about chucking out packets that are past their sell-by date. It’s so disappointing to put all that effort into planting seeds for them not to germinate, it’s likely to happen with some anyway, but why not minimise the possibility.
Annual seeds are the best to begin with, all annuals grow from a seed, flower and die, with a final flourish of setting seed all in the same year.
They’re the easiest and cheapest way of growing flowers from seed, and are divided into two groups, hardy and half-hardy. For a ridiculously small amount of money you’ll get masses of flowers to make your garden look lovely, or to cut and bring inside.
You will have spotted from the clue in the name, that hardy annuals are much tougher than their half-hardy cousins. They all like a sunny, open part of the garden to grow in and the smaller ones can be grown in containers.
Hardy annuals include:
- nigella [love-in-a-mist]
- ammi majus[queen annes lace],
- eschscholzia [californian poppies]
- the lime coloured foliage plants euphorbia oblongata and bupleureum rotundofolium.
These can all be planted outside, straight into the ground, no faffing about with temperatures or special compost, no coaxing them along in a greenhouse and no need for any specialist equipment, but you must wait for the right time.
Don’t be lured by bright blue skies into thinking that it’s warm enough for seed-sowing outside to begin, May is usually the right time to start. The perfect indicator that it’s warm enough for seeds to germinate is when weed-seedlings start appearing in the garden.
I’ll be posting about half-hardy annuals next week, so when the time comes for sowing you’ll have all the info you need.
Contact Higgledy Garden here where you’ll find a fabulous range of flower seeds, they’re very reasonably priced and at the moment there’s free P&P on orders over 15 pounds.
Let me know what seeds you’ve decided to grow this year.
Happy gardening, Jill
all photos: Jill Anderson.