How to sow half-hardy annuals

Do it:

Mar, Apr

Takes just:

15 minutes

At its best:

Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

Half-hardy annuals are quick to flower and provide a burst of colour in summer borders and pot displays. To give them as long a flowering season as possible, sow seed early so that plants have plenty of time to establish before planting out.

Once risk of frost has passed, plant your home-sown plants outside. Many varieties sown indoors by March or April will start to flower as early as June.

You will need

Seed tray

Good quality compost

Half-hardy annual seeds

A bright, warm place

Advertisement

Fill a tray with seed compost, then sow a tiny pinch of seeds in each cell. Cover with vermiculite, water and place the tray in a propagator in a warm spot.

Once seeds have sprouted, wait until two pairs of leaves form. Transplant each seedling into a 7cm pot filled with sieved multi-purpose compost.

Water well after transplanting and keep the pots in a warm, bright place. Avoid exposure to bright sunlight, which can scorch the young leaves.

When all risk of frost has passed, move the plants to a cold frame or patio, bringing them in at night. After a week you can plant them outside.

Advertisement

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

Creating a summer pot

How to grow annual climbers from seed

How to sow sweet pea seeds

Related offers

FREE P&P

Polianthes tuberosa - save up to £40

Buy five intensely fragrant Polyanthes tuberosa bulbs for £9.99 (saving £5 on the RRP), or save a total of over £40 when you buy 20 bulbs for just £19.95, with free p&p.

Order now

Offer

Seed sowing masterclass

Learn everything you need to know about seed sowing on David Hurrion's information-packed masterclass. Spaces are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Use code: GW Masterclass

Order now

Offer

12 free* Oriental lilies

Claim your collection of 12 Oriental lilies, including four each of three stunning varieties, (worth over £25) for free - *just pay £5.95 postage.

Use code: GXW17FEB

Order now