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Jan

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Jun

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Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

May

Don't despair, there is still time to sow some hardy annuals outdoors. Alyssum, Convolvulus, Dahlias, Nemesias and Marigolds can still be sown direct into their flowering position. This will avoid the need to transplant, which can weaken the plants. Half-hardy annuals that you have hardened off can be planted out now, if you think all risk of frost has passed. Alternatively, wait till early June before planting, or be prepared to cover with fleece if frost is forecast. Water the plants well while still in the seed tray. Having removed your spring bedding plants and composted them, prepare the soil by watering well. Lift the plants out of the seed tray and separate. Lay them on the bed until you have the desired arrangement. As you plant, water the planting hole before filling in with soil, ensuring the roots are moist. Hardy biennials can be sown this month, into a nursery bed or pots stored in a greenhouse or cold frame. If running short of time this month, Wallflowers and Sweet Williams can still be sown in seed drills in their flowering position, as late as June.

Buy seeds and plants from Thompson and Morgan.

June

If you delayed planting of half-hardy annuals, you should do this now. Water the bed and plants well, before planting out. In dry weather ensure the plants are watered. If you need to stake plants, use pea sticks if possible, which will be hidden as the plants grow. Control weeds by hoeing and spray to control aphids. Sowing of hardy biennials should be completed this month with those in seed trays being planted in a nursery bed. Water the plants in. Sow Wallflowers and Sweet Williams in their flowering position. Remove excess plants with a hoe or knife. Hardy perennials can be sown in a coldframe, greenhouse or outdoors, moving plants to nursery beds once they are large enough. Morning Glory seeds benefit from being soaked overnight and can still be sown in situ. Complete planting of summer bedding plants which should be planted after all risk of frost has passed.

July

Deadheading is vital on annual flowers as failing to do so seriously shortens the life of the plants. Removing the old flower heads as they fade also maintains the border colour and quality. The other main way to extend the life and colour of your borders is to make sure they are watered liberally during any even vaguely dry spell. If the plants feel at all under stress then they will drop flowers and try to form seeds with what they keep and the result will be a rather shabby display. Early in July Wallflowers and Sweet Williams can be sown in their final flowering position – sow thinly and as they grow you can thin them out further to the desired density. Aphids and other sap suckers may now be becoming a serious problem in the flower border and it may be necessary to spray with a systemic insecticide to control them. Weed control is easiest using a hoe – regularly and preferably before the weeds actually start to appear. If you have sown hardy biennials or perennials in seedboxes then they will now be reaching a suitable size for planting out into your nursery beds outdoors.

August

Perennial seedlings should now be well grown and ready for planting into nursery beds – same for biennials – with a view to planting out into their final positions in the borders in autumn or next spring. Aphids will be the main problem to look out for and spraying each month would be wise. Dead flower heads should continue to be removed from established plants and weeds should be removed with a hoe as they appear.

Buy seeds and plants from Thompson and Morgan.

September

Remove sad looking annuals, to make room for your spring bedding. Sow hardy annuals to winter outdoors. This will give them time to make growth before winter and stand a good chance of surviving. Hardy biennials should be watered before planting out into pre-watered ground. Water well after planting and during dry weather.

October

Summer bedding will now be over and should be removed before they look too sickly - this will enable you to work on preparing the beds for the next occupants. If you have raised any hardy perennials or biennials over the summer then get them planted out now to give them the maximum opportunity to get established before the winter frosts kick in.

November

If the weather is still reasonable and winter is making a late appearance, hardy perennials sown earlier in the year can still be planted out. However, if winter is here, leave planting out until March/April. Prepare annual beds by digging over and working in plenty of well-rotted manure. You can leave the soil rough and the frost will break it down, leaving little further preparation in Spring. If you haven't already got them, send off for seed catalogues and start to plan what you will grow next year.

Buy seeds and plants from Thompson and Morgan.

December

Use the dark winter days to plan your borders and order seed. If weather permits continue to prepare beds for growing hardy and half-hardy annuals.

January

Complete the ordering of seed and plants; if you leave it much longer you run the risk of not obtaining your chosen varieties. Finish the digging of beds for hardy and half-hardy annuals.

February

Now is the time to plan your spring planting programme and get your orders placed. Final preparation of the beds should be just a light forking to loosen up the soil and if you have not done so already fork in a balanced fertilizer to the top 3 or 4 inches.

Buy seeds and plants from Thompson and Morgan.

March

Finalise your seed purchases whilst they are still available. Seed-raised hardy perennials can be planted out if the weather in favourable. If the ground has begun to warm up, hardy annual seeds can be sown outdoors. Ground should have been lightly forked over and a general fertiliser applied. Half-hardy annuals can be sown under glass, moving earlier sown varieties to the cold frame. During severe frosts you will need to provide protection to the frame.

April

Hardy annuals can be sown outdoors if the weather has improved. Fork some general fertiliser into the ground before making your sowings. Half-hardy annuals should be sown under glass. Early sown plants can be gradually hardened off by moving to a cold frame. If heavy frost is forecast you will need to cover the frame to provide more protection. Watch for aphids and treat as necessary. If leaves show signs of yellowing water with a liquid fertiliser.


Gardening information, hints and tips on how to grow flowers from seeds in your garden including sowing, germination, hardening off and general care advice.