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Sowing hardy annual seeds


by Pippa Greenwood

I'm like a kid in a sweet shop when let loose in a garden centre. Packets of seed are extraordinarily inexpensive when you consider what has gone in to producing them, and I always buy too many.


Seed packetsI'm like a kid in a sweet shop when let loose in a garden centre. Packets of seed are extraordinarily inexpensive when you consider what has gone in to producing them, and I always buy too many. This can cause serious damage to my credit card, especially during the high-risk hardy annual season.

I love sowing seeds and still get a thrill at what can be achieved from just a few packets. Any packet labelled 'hardy annual' (or the abbreviation, 'HA') will do the trick, and there's no need for seed trays, compost or propagators. Just clear the soil, forking it over to remove debris, weeds or larger stones and get sowing.

I use sand from the kids' sandpit to mark out separate areas for each type of seed, and sow in rough rows to make subsequent weeding easier. Kept adequately moist, the seeds will soon germinate, and, after thinning, the plants grow like billy-o. Hardy annuals tend to be more drought tolerant than more highly priced bedding plants, and are pretty resilient. They make for a splendid display that will look great throughout the summer and often well into autumn.



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Gardeners' World Web User 12/04/2008 at 18:52

I have to agree with Pippa, I am like a girl in "Barbie-Doll" heaven when I pass by a display of new seeds in local shops. This year I went a little crazy with peas, tomatoes and sunflowers !!!

Gardeners' World Web User 14/04/2008 at 19:23

Me too, a brand new packet of seeds sown sees me out at the greenhouse/garden even more than usual. What a delight gardening is... this year it's salad leaves, chillis and other peppers for me, with a healthy dose of spinach (for salads) yummy!

Gardeners' World Web User 19/04/2008 at 22:16

My Mum kindly gave me some collected seeds from last-years surfinas, but none of them have germinated. I daren't tell her! MY greenhouse is now more than packed with literally hundreds of little pots of tiny green leaves but, like you, these have all come from the "candy-packs" at the garden centre. All the cost will be worth it in the end when we have gardens flowing with colour and wonderful growth. Oh what fun!!

Gardeners' World Web User 19/05/2008 at 17:17

If I prevent my hard annuals from seeding, the flowering time last longer? But I wont have pretty flowers the following year? I bought some lupins and was hoping they last more than a year. Any tips?

Gardeners' World Web User 28/11/2011 at 18:31

How do you stop the rabbits from enjoying them.