How to Sow Annual & Biennial Plants

Annuals and biennials look more natural if sown in informal swaths, or drifts, that merge into one another. 

Growing Annuals and Biennials

Growing Annuals and Biennials

Hardy annuals provide an easy way to introduce a splash of color into your garden. Here, orange pot marigolds add zing to the soft blues and purples of love-in-a-mist and cornflowers.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 1: Create Crumbly Soil

Create Crumbly Soil

Create Crumbly Soil

Before planting seeds for annuals, rake the soil to level it, and clear away any large stones. Use the head of the rake to break down lumps to create a crumbly soil.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Rake the soil to level it, and clear away any large stones. Use the head of the rake to break down lumps to create a crumbly soil.

Step 2: Make Bamboo Drills

Bamboo Drills

Bamboo Drills

When planting seeds, use a bamboo cane to create some straight drills in which to sow the seed. Press the cane lightly into the soil, as shown.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Use a bamboo cane to create some straight drills in which to sow the seed—press the cane lightly into the soil, as shown.

Step 3: Trickle Seeds In

Trickle Seeds In

Trickle Seeds In

When sowing seeds for annuals, transfer a little seed to the palm of your hand, and gently tap it with your finger to trickle the seed gradually into the drill.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Transfer a little seed to the palm of your hand, and gently tap it with your finger to trickle the seed gradually into the drill.

Step 4: Rake Soil Over

Rake Soil Over

Rake Soil Over

After sowing seeds, cover them gently by raking a fine layer of soil over the drills. Then firm the soil lightly with the head of your rake.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Cover the seeds by gently raking a fine layer of soil over the drills. Then firm the soil lightly with the head of your rake.

Step 5: Water With a Fine Spray

Fine Spray Watering

Fine Spray Watering

After sowing seeds for annuals, water well, using a watering can with a fine spray. A sprinkling is less likely to disturb the seeds or cause a soil crust to form.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Water well, using a watering can with a fine spray. A sprinkling is less likely to disturb the seeds or cause a soil crust to form.

Step 6: Protect the Seeds

Protect the Seeds

Protect the Seeds

When sowing annual seeds, protect them from being scratched up by birds and cats by covering the area with some twiggy sticks or a layer of netting.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Protect seeds from being scratched up by birds and cats by covering the area with some twiggy sticks or a layer of netting.

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