Don’t you just love spring and summer? I do. Each day we gain more daylight time, gardens are lush and colourful, blossom is blooming in the hedgerows, fruit trees are popping, buzzing with pollinators, it’s a wonderful time of year.
Now is the time to sow the seeds for all summer blooming flowers.
On warm, sunny days spent in the garden we come alive, breathe lungfuls of fresh, clean air, feeling altogether invigorated and inspired.
We can’t rest on our laurels though, lots to do if we want the benefit of those beautiful long flowering summer plants, I’m talking about annuals, that fantastically huge selection of summer flowers that help to give the borders some pizzazz.
Annuals are plants that grow, flower, set seed all in one year. They are relatively easy to grow and with some love and attention will blossom into a riot of colour that will be the envy of all your friends and family. They are long-lasting and will continue to flower right through from early summer into autumn. They tend not to often survive our cold wet winters, therefore gardeners can collect their seeds to save for sowing the following year.
Annuals can be given a good head start by sowing indoors early spring in trays or small pots, given warmth and perfect growing conditions they will germinate and become strong and healthy to be planted out as soon as the weather and soil outdoors is warm enough for them.
Most gardeners will have already started seeds growing indoors, by this time they will have a variety of summer annuals ready to go outside to fill the borders with summer colour and fragrance.How to Grow Plant Seeds. 5 Easy Steps
Summer flowers compliment other plants in the garden such as the perennial plants that are starting to grow, foliage plants and shrubs.Perennial Plants. First Year Flowering
If you have a greenhouse or indeed a warm, sunny windowsill then you can get ahead of the game by starting early.
If you haven’t done this yet do not panic or despair as some of our most popular summer annuals can be sown directly into the borders or containers outside after all risk of frost has gone.
Many lovely plants, annuals and perennials can be used to great effect in hanging baskets, vertical planters and any containers to add a moveable, colourful display to patios, walls, balconies and fences. Take a look here to find out the best plants for hanging baskets and how to plant them and the care that is required to give you a beautiful, long-lasting summer show.
All Summer Blooming Flowers
There is nothing better than seeing a blaze of colour in summer borders, by direct sowing some seeds now, you too can achieve a riotously colourful garden full of pizzazz and vitality.
It is so much cheaper this way as well. A packet of seeds can cost a few £’s or even less if you buy them during a seed sale at the end of season.
Buying young plants that are garden ready is an expensive way of gardening and filling your borders so save yourself some money and grow your own.
Some of my favourites are:
- Sweet peas
- Welsh poppy
- California poppy
- Morning Glory
This list is only an example of what flowers can be grown on an annual basis from seed. There are so many to choose from, browsing through seeds online or in shops you will find a wealth of summer flowers. Have a go at growing some for your garden. It is a most satisfying way of filling your garden with summer colour.What is National Gardening Week About?
When to Sow Summer Annual Seeds Outdoors.
As soon as the weather is warmer, danger of frost has gone and the soil is warm. Seeds sown directly outside need this warmth in order to germinate. Here in the UK this generally is from April onwards to autumn.
Sowing seeds outdoors is perfect for those who don’t have a lot of space to start seeds indoors earlier in the year. Or if time is a factor, sowing outdoors is easier too as it means less maintenance time.
Regular watering will ensure good conditions for growing annual seeds all summer, providing you with colourful long flowering summer plants.
Always refer to the instructions on the seed packets as optimum sowing times can vary.
How to Sow Annual Seeds Outdoors
- In the area where you wish to sow, dig the soil to clear weeds and debris. Beds and planting areas can be prepared in advance this way then covered with plastic sheet or weed suppression fabric until time for sowing.
- Fork in some nutrient rich compost ( homemade if you have it ). Work the soil until you have a fine crumbly texture.
- Mark out a shallow drill, using a cane for a straight line, check seed packets for the correct depth and water the drill, dampening the soil at this stage is easier as the seeds won’t be washed away or swamped.
- Sprinkle the seeds in the drill, but not too many or too close as they will have to be thinned out as they start to grow.
- Use a rake to gently cover the seeds with soil.
- Label and mark where the seeds are.
- Alternatively scatter the seeds in drifts for a more naturalised planting scheme.
- Cover the area with fleece to protect emerging seedlings from pest such as pigeons.
- Slugs and snails can be controlled using environmentally friendly, natural nematodes.
- Remember to water during dry periods.
Summer Annual Colour Combinations.
Colour schemes are an important factor, a good mix of bright colours or a more subtle approach is of course entirely down to your own taste and preference. There are lots of different colours to play with, so experiment to see what colours go together to form the colour palette and style you are looking for.
Colour popping plant partners for you to try.
All of these plants work well in the borders, containers, baskets or window boxes.Best Plants for Hanging Baskets
Bold is beautiful.
Zinnia Purple Prince
Cosmos Sonata mix
Hot and Sophisticated
Petunia Storm Blue
Calibrochoa Can-Can hot pink
Pale and interesting.
Nemesia pink, white and blue.
Going for Gold
African Marigold Sun mix
Zinnia Pop art
A whiter shade of pale.
Plant these together in a container for a classic white combination
Antirrhinum ‘Royal Bride’
I really hope this article has inspired you to sow some seeds to give your garden a long summer flowering season, with a wealth of summer blooming flowers that with a little care and attention will keep flowering well into autumn. Remember to keep them watered during dry spells and you also need to dead head in order to produce more flowers. Click here for further ideas and tips on how to grow Summer Annuals
Plants such as sweet peas, cosmos and many of the others I have mentioned will continue flowering longer the more you pick them. Some of our summer annuals are also wonderful as cut flowers to bring into the house. I have to say though that I much prefer to see flowers where they are happiest…outside in the garden.
Help to keep them sufficiently watered is also on hand with my best home garden irrigation systems review, installing an irrigation kit with a timer ensures that your plants will receive enough water without them becoming over-watered. they help to conserve water too as they only allow through the amount that is actually needed.
I do hope my ideas and advice have been helpful to you, please share with friends, family and social media.
Any thoughts, views or question can be added in the comments box below, I always reply as soon as possible and I love to hear from you.