Fill gaps in your borders with Hardy Annuals
The nights should be getting lighter now, snowdrops maybe peeping through the soil and giving us a show of their nodding heads and spring is just around the corner.
As the weather maybe too cold to get out in the garden, while away a rainy afternoon browsing through seed catalogues or look at seed companies on the internet. Plants grown from seed are a very good way of filling spare areas in the border rewarding you with splashes of colour all summer.
Hardy annual seeds are the easiest flowers to grow as they are just sown where you want them to grow. Dig over the area you want to seed, rake to create a fine finish then sprinkle the seeds thinly over the area and cover with a thin layer of soil.
Examples to try are Nigella – Love in a mist, try the varieties ‘Blue Starry skies’ or Persian Jewels’;
Cornflower varieties (there are lots to try), poppies, salvia horminum is unusual as it’s its leaves that create the colour or try something that has become popular recently Ammi majus Graceland – Bishop’s weed.
If you have a sunny windowsill or a greenhouse you can grow you plants from seeds, divide them into individual pots when the seedlings are about 3cm high, don’t let them get leggy and when all fear of frost is over (mid May) they can be planted out in the area you want them to go
Rather than going for the familiar bedding plants of geraniums or marigolds be more adventurous and look at Cosmos varieties, cerinthe, nicotiana or stocks.
It’s really worth trying annuals in your garden as they are great value for money and give you back wonderful summer long colour. Good websites to look at or catalogues to request are Thompson Morgan – www.thompson-morgan.co.uk, Suttons – www.suttons.co.uk , The Organic Gardening Catalogue – www.organiccatalogue.com or Plants of Distinction – www.plantsofdistinction.co.uk.
Things to do in the garden in January
- Continue to clear leaves from borders
- Ensure tender plants are wrapped or covered in fleece
- Clean out greenhouses and sheds with a disinfectant such as Jeyes fluid – this rids them of pests and diseases
- Clean your tools with a disinfectant
- Sharpen tools – secateurs, shears and lawn edging shears
- Request seed catalogues to help you decide what annual flowers and vegetables you would like to grow
- Prune apple and pear trees
- Prune blackcurrant, gooseberry and redcurrant bushes
- Plant bare-rooted hedges and trees.
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