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

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. Begin seedlings indoors before moving outside in warmer weather.

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 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

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. Use small containers filled with potting soil and seeds to start growing 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

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. Seedlings should be watered gingerly, with an upturned, low pressure spray that won't disturb their fragile setting.

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

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. Make sure to check all directions about soil type, seed depth, and seed spacing when 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

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

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. Add markers with the names of plants and the sowing date when sowing new 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

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

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

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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