They are nematodes of some kind and are generally harmless or even beneficial. All soil contains nematodes but most are very small so go unnoticed.
Sow them when the seed pods are opening on the ones you are already growing. This gives them time to establish before they go dormant over winter. Spring sowing works but you usually have to wait a year before they flower.
1) looks like a carrot - maybe from birdseed. It could be one of a few other things but is definitely not a weed so would leave it.
2) is a poppy.
3) don't know but is another 'not a weed'!
I buy mine from Wickes. As long as it is 'sharp' or 'grit' sand and not 'builders' sand you should be OK. Sharp sand is gritty whereas builders sand has round grains. No issues with lime or salt with the stuff I buy.
It's a variegated weigela, possibly 'Florida Variegata'.
Here are some that aren't fussy and grow quickly: African daisy (Osteospurmum), Alyssum, Calendula, Candytuft, Coreopsis, Gypsophilia, Impatiens, Marigold, Mimulus, Nasturtium, Phlox.
Yes, I'd use annuals this year as you will get a display and they will outgrow grass. Perennials are often slow to establish which might let the grass take hold again. When the annuals have died off at the end of the year you can just keep hoeing the area over the winter (or cover it with bark etc) which will keep the grass and weeds down until it is time to plant your perennials. In general, the larger you can grow perennials in pots, the better they will survive when planted out so you could get some going this year and keep them in pots until next spring.
I find they much prefer being in the ground and don't really like growing in pots, especially in MPC. If you have to grow them in pots, I would put garden soil in them. I grow them here on clay which they love.
I tend to mix my own seed sowing mixture using some seed compost mixed with sieved multi-purpose compost, sharp sand and vermiculite. I then prick-out into sieved MPC with some sharp sand and pot on into as-it-comes MPC. I mainly use Wickes MPC and some Grosure with added JI as I like the texture. Always great results and I grow veg, perennials, annuals, trees, fruit and shrubs.
Last edited: 03 June 2016 21:48:11