START OFF HARDY AN­NU­ALS

Garden Answers (UK) - - Easy Gardening -

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

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