We’ve been picking sweet williams, foxgloves, honesty, iceland poppies and sweet rocket for weeks. All the hard work this time last year has paid off. If you would like a harvest of fragrant purple, white, pink, red and apricot on your patch next year then now, after the Summer solstice is the time to put in the work. Great gardeners are always looking ahead as well as taking care of their existing crops. And if you’re one of our member schools it’s great to be planning ahead for next year in the garden too and still have seeds to sow now.
We sow our biennials into seed trays around this time and pot them on in a few weeks. By the time we plant them out in the autumn they will have formed sturdy plants which will be able to withstand slug attack and the worst the British winter can throw at them. They’ll also fill up space on your patch in the autumn so you won’t have to worry about soil erosion, leaching of minerals from the soil or weed infestation. Then, next spring, once the temperature rises you can watch them romp away, giving you bucket loads of pleasure (quite literally) for weeks. What’s not to love? Start sowing.
If you’re sowing with school groups it’s a perfect opportunity to give your young growers some responsibility. How about a holiday job of caring for a tray of seedlings at home, potting them on and bringing them back to school next term to plant out? Any spares can be sold to parents or, better still, exchanged for some bulbs which can be planted in your patch or around the school grounds.
Spread the flower love. Go on. You know it makes sense.
For more information, why not check out our chum, seed supplier and all-round flowery good egg Higgledy Ben’s biennial sowing guide? He knows a thing or two about flowers.