May - annuals to sow now
Have you sown all your annuals yet? No, neither have I...
Luckily mid to late May is a good time to either start sowing or to sow some more and now the ground has warmed up, you can direct sow straight into the soil.
Just choose your patch of soil, remove any unwanted existing plants and give the ground a light rake or even a "shallow shuffle" with a hand fork to break up any clumps.
Scatter the seeds as evenly as you can. Depending on the variety, (check the packet), you can either leave the seeds on the surface, rake them in or cover with a light covering of soil or compost. Then all that's needed, is to gently water them in and wait for the seedlings to pop up.
If you haven't room in the ground, use exactly the same method to grow in large pots or planters.
When the seedlings start to pop up some people remove some seedlings to prevent over-crowding. Personally, I just leave them to get on with it. Some annuals such as cornflowers, seem to do better with their friends to support them and I like things to look as natural as possible and to be honest, once a little seedling has made the effort, I don't have the heart to pull them up. You can of course try moving any surplus seedlings to somewhere else but I find they don't all take kindly to transplanting.
Just a couple of tips:
- For seeds that can be left on the surface and not covered after sowing, it's a good idea to water the soil first and wait a few minutes for it to drain, then sow your seeds. This stops the seeds being washed away or into "clumps" which can happen when you water after sowing
- For late summer / early autumn flowers sow further batches in a couple of weeks, even into early / mid June.
Any of these plants are perfect for sowing now and will give you, and the wildlife, beautiful flowers into the summer 🦋