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.

Growing Healthy Plants from Seeds to Seedlings

How to Sow Annuals

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

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

Step 1

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.

Spring Seed Starting

Sowing Annuals

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

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

Step 2

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.

Sowing Annuals, Water Seedlings

Water Seedlings

2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios View original photo.

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

Step 3

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 Annual Seeds

Sow Seeds According to Packet Directions

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

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

Step 4

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 Plants

Label Seeds Before Planting

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

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

Tip

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

Planting Tips

Using Perlite for Small Seeds

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

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

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