Daily Mail



FOR cheerful colour from June onwards, sow hardy annual seeds now. The fastest are Virginian stock, candytuft, and pot marigolds or calendulas.

Cornflower­s, annual poppies, clarkias, sunflowers, nigellas and sweet peas will come later but give a longer show.

Hardy annuals are tough — you can sow them where you want them to flower. But make sure their seed bed is well worked, with no big lumps or clods. The surface should be dry but the soil beneath must be moist. Rake the ground before scattering the seeds sparsely on to the soil. Rake it lightly again and mark the spot. The first seedlings will appear within a week or two.

When the young plants have a few true leaves — different from the first seedling ones — thin them out, if needed. You can transplant the ‘thinnings’ to sparse areas, and water them in.

Try to keep your annuals weedfree. And with fast annuals — candytuft, marigolds, Virginian stock — sow more in mid-May to extend the season.

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