START OFF HARDY ANNUALS
Some hardy annuals can be sown at the start of September, giving them a head start on their springsown brothers and sisters. Plants such as nigella (love-ina-mist), larkspur, Centaurea cyanus (cornflower) and Ammi majus (bishop’s flower) will germinate then overwinter before romping into growth once the weather warms up again next spring. They’ll produce larger plants than spring-sown annuals and an earlier display of flowers, so they’re perfect for plugging the gap between spring bulbs and summer perennial flowers. Sow into seed trays filled with multipurpose compost, water and label. Pot on when large enough to handle then keep them in a cold frame or cool greenhouse before planting out in spring. Alternatively, in mild areas where the soil doesn’t get waterlogged, sow them direct into the ground. If the weather turns very cold, protect the young plants with several layers of horticultural fleece.
September-sown hardy annuals will plug the gap between spring bulbs and summer perennials