We often think of seed sowing as a spring activity, but there are plenty of beautiful flowers that can be started from seed in summer.
Summer is the perfect time to start off biennials and perennials, as well as some hardy annuals to flower in late summer and early autumn, when a lot of half-hardy bedding plants are past their best.
There are natural advantages to sowing seed in summer, too. The warmth of the sun and longer days provide perfect growing conditions, plus you’ll benefit from mess-free sowing outdoors.
Read these nine tips for seed sowing success before you get started.
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Take a look at the range of beautiful flowers that can be started from seed in summer, below.
Blue cornflowers in bloom
Sow speedy annuals such as night-scented stocks and cornflowers straight into tubs, hanging baskets or the front of flowerbeds, alone or in gaps between other plants. Sown in June, they’ll flower within six weeks.
Discover 10 fast-growing annuals to grow from seed.
Purple and white winter pansies
F1 varieties of winter-flowering pansies give the best results, but you only get a few seeds per packet. Sow thinly in trays and prick seedlings out into 7cm pots. Keep cool, moist and lightly shaded.
Take a look at these six pretty pansies to grow.
Biennials and short-lived perennials
Sow a tiny pinch of aquilegia or foxglove seeds per pot. Thin out the seedlings so you have fair-sized plants to put in the garden in the autumn, to flower the following year.
These 10 gorgeous aquilegias will add cottage garden charm.
Tall blue delphiniums
Sowing hardy perennials in summer is a great way to stock a new border economically. The many options include lupins, delphiniums and grasses. Sow thinly in trays or in rows in a seedbed. Move the young plants to their flowering positions in autumn or next spring.
Bulbs and corms
Pink cyclamen flowering
Sow hardy and florist’s cyclamen in trays in summer. The seedlings grow even when the mature plants are dormant, as long as you keep them moist. Keep them growing in warmth right through the winter. They’ll flower within 18 months.