How to Sow Annuals

The big advantage of growing brightly colored annuals is that you can try out new fun ideas and combinations each year. They are easily raised in spring, and keep impatient gardeners busy before the rest of the garden takes off.
How to Sow Annuals

How to Sow Annuals

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

From: DK Books - Containers for Patios

Step 1: Prepare Pots

Fill new or clean pots with seed-starting mix, adding some horticultural or sharp sand to improve drainage, and give them a quick tap to settle the mix. Make sure that there is a gap below the pot rim to allow for watering.

Sowing Annuals

Sowing Annuals

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 2: Water the Soil

Water the soil with warm water using an upturned spray. Hardy annuals can be left outside once sown, but half-hardy annuals need a warm, bright windowsill indoors, away from direct sunlight.

Water Seedlings

Water Seedlings

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 3: Plant the Seeds

Take a few seeds, and space them out on the soil. Cover them with sifted potting mix to the depth given on the seed packet. Really tiny seed is best mixed with fine sand before it is scattered over the soil.

Sow Seeds According to Packet Directions

Sow Seeds According to Packet Directions

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 4: Label Pots

Clearly label each pot with the name of the seeds and the sowing date. This is particularly important when you do all your sowing on the same day. Place pots on a windowsill or in a greenhouse to germinate.

Label Seeds Before Planting

Label Seeds Before Planting

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Planting Tip

Many small seeds need light to germinate. Perlite allows in light, and keeps them moist.

Using Perlite for Small Seeds

Using Perlite for Small Seeds

Photo by: DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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