Sowing hardy annuals in Autumn

Sowing hardy annuals in Autumn

In Autumn, you can sow hardy annual seeds in the polytunnel to overwinter and potentially enjoy earlier flowers in late Spring. This week, I’ve sown Ammi, Larkspur, cornflower, daucus, nigella, helichrysum, orlaya, snaps, and sweet peas.

Hardy annuals are fast-growing plants that bloom in their first summer. They flower, produce seeds and then die all in the same year. They are easy and cost-effective to grow, perfect for adding vibrant colours to your cutting garden. Sowing hardy annuals in Autumn yield robust plants that bloom earlier than those sown in Spring.

Avoid transplanting hardy annuals into the ground in areas with wet and cold climates like the South East of the UK; instead, keep them in modules in the polytunnel until early spring. However, if you have light, sandy soil, you can plant them outside. For outdoor planting, ensure they have about 8 weeks in the ground before the first frosts. For example, if the first frost arrives in early November, plant them out by early September, allowing for direct sowing in mid-August or sowing in modules in early August.

If you’re planning to keep them in a cold frame or cold greenhouse over winter, you can sow later, up to the end of October for most seeds, and even into December or January for sweet peas.

These sites are great places to buy seeds:

Higgledy Garden, Plants of Distinction, Chiltern Seeds

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