How to sow summer flower seeds


Flowering plants

Purple alyssum flowers against a grey rock in soft focus.

Seedlings are a tempting option if you want instant colour in your garden, but if you get cracking now, you can get spectacular results by sowing seeds of summer- and spring-flowering annuals. Best of all, it’s very easy to do (and kind to your budget too).

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Buy a selection of flower seeds, like marigolds, cosmos, nasturtiums, phlox, alyssum and zinnias. You can also buy ready mixed ‘Meadow’ flower seed packs.
  • Prepare the soil by loosening it and breaking up any heavy clumps. Lightly dig in some compost into the top few centimetres of soil. This will give the seeds a good rooting medium and will reduce your watering requirements. Rake the soil smooth and even.
  • Choose a wind-free day to sow your seeds, as even a light breeze can easily scatter seeds to areas where you would prefer them not to be. Larger seeds (such as zinnias) can be sown evenly by hand, but finer seed is best mixed with fine sand and then sown as a mixture to ensure even spreading of the seed.
  • Cover the seeds with a thin layer of sifted soil and water well with a fine spray attachment. A deluge of water (for example, out of a standard hosepipe opening) will cause your tiny seeds to wash away.
  • Keep the soil moist at all times until the first seedlings appear. Feed with a general fertiliser as soon as the first flower buds develop.

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