Sow Annuals in Late Summer

Fast-maturing annuals, such as calendula, candytuft, clarkia, cosmos, godetia and nasturtium, can still be sown now for colour in late summer if you live in a mild area. Either sow direct outside into a prepared seedbed in straight rows to make weeding easier or for more reliable results sow into pots or trays and place in a coldframe, prick-out when the plants are large enough to handle.

Hardy annuals sown direct last month into a prepared seedbed will need thinning to the correct spacing. Thin the flower seedlings when they are large enough to separate so the plants that remain are spaced at the same distance as the drills (10-15cm), depending on the eventual size of the plant you are growing. Use any seedling thinnings to fill gaps where the seed has germinated unevenly. Biennials, such as forget-me-nots and honesty, can also be sown directly into a prepared seedbed. If you live in the north or your garden is exposed, sow in seedtrays in a coldframe instead.

Tools required

seedtray, sowing compost

Skill rating

moderate