WHEN TO SOW
Late March to May
WHERE TO SOW
In shallow drills in weed free growing site or simply rake into surface. Can also be sown in sheltered positions in September for an early Spring flowering.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
Plants should not be transplanted. Thin out to avoid overcrowding but only to 5 or 7cm (2-3") apart. Leaving plants fairly close helps to give support.
May to September
Regular cutting of flowers promotes new growth all Summer long, to give beauty in the garden and in the home.
FLOWER SEED SOWING TECHNIQUE
Prepare the soil in the flowering site well in advance, ensuring that all weeds are removed. Choose a time for sowing when the soil does not stick to your shoes but is moist below the surface and fairly dry on top. The soil should be crumbly and even. Rake the surface after a light treading.
Either mark small rows for sowing or mark an area for scattering seed to rake in afterwards. Hardy Annuals should be sown to a depth of about twice the size of the seed. If the ground is dry, water the rows before sowing, not after.
Sow the seed carefully and thinly, aiming to get a seed ever 2cm (3/4") and then gently rake the soil to cover and firm with the back of the rake. Water gently if the weather is dry for a period, but do not water too often as this will encourage the roots to form just below the surface and you will be watering all summer long to save your plants! Aim to encourage the roots to go further to seek water and you will have a more relaxed summer and a finer show of flowers in the long run.
When the seedlings have formed their first pair of true leaves, they should be thinned out and you can, by careful lifting of the excess plants, transplant them to other flowering sites.
Thin September sown seeds in about October or early November before they cease growth for the winter.