7 Kinds of Plants You Should Sow Now for Spring and SummerColin Campbell-Preston
With the winter fast approaching, you may be thinking that it’s time to hang up your hoe and ease off the green-fingered pursuits for the next few months, picking the mantle back up when the clocks hop forward next spring. Sadly, that can put you on a bit of a back foot in the new year, with all the work to do in an overgrown garden which has seen minimal activity or growth over the past 15 weeks or so.
Plants to Sow for Spring and Summer
So, give yourself a head start for spring by planting some hardy bulbs which can survive the winter and give you something to enjoy when the temperatures start to pick up around March. Flowers, foliage and food could already be emerging from the ground as you look to start the spring gardening in earnest.
And to give you a head start, we’ve compiled a list of the bulbs, seeds and plants you should be sowing now, which will blossom in spring and early summer next year.
The very best way to kick start your garden for the coming year is to sow wildflower seeds. When these start to pop up in the spring, they’ll welcome bees and butterflies to the garden, helping the pollination process. Bees and butterflies will take up a lot of the slack in the new year, so make sure they receive a grand welcome with some delightful wildflowers.
The best chance of success is to pick wildflowers which are indigenous to your area. Bees and butterflies will have a natural appetite for these flowers, so are more likely to be attracted by the nectar within.
Although, perhaps best sown by the end of September, there’s still a high chance of success sowing spring-flowering bulbs such as daffodils, crocus and hyacinths a couple of weeks into October. We’ve had a very mild October so far this year (it’s 2016 here, hello to future readers!) so this would give these bulbs a good chance of getting their roots down before the cold weather hits.
Is there anything more symbolic of spring than clusters of daffodils erupting from the ground? Their unique yellow faces are always a welcome sight as the weather starts to take a turn for the better.
Hardy Summer-Flowering Bulbs
October is the perfect time to plant summer-flowering bulbs such as lilies, alliums and crocosmia, providing plenty of chance for them to get rooted into the ground and get ready to blossom beautifully in the new year.
Once the daffodils and spring-flowering brethren are on their way out, these summer bloomers can make their presence felt – so you’re always one step ahead.
Fancy adding a touch of Dutch charm to your garden for the coming year? Tulips are best sown during October and November to flower from March to May. With an endless range of colours and patterns, tulips are, perhaps, the finest way to add colour and life to your garden following the grey months of January and February.
To give tulips the best chance of flowering, sow them in well-drained soil which receives plenty of sun and is well protected from strong winds.
If you fancy creating something a little different in the borders of your garden in the coming year, now’s the time to sow new perennial bulbs. It can be tempting to just let the perennials die off and then reappear in the spring, but no one loves repetition, do they?
So to set a new backbone for your garden, get some new perennials and colours planted into the borders.
Hardy Lettuces, Beans and Peas
The hardier members of the lettuce, bean and pea families can be sown at this time of the year, so you’ll be greeted with delicious treats as well as attractive flowers when the calendars reset in a couple of months. The appropriately-named arctic king and winter gem lettuces are well-built to combat the cold.
Similarly, meteor peas and the aquadulce claudia broad bean can both be sown in October to be harvested early next year. Great for spring salads and soups.
Onions and Garlic
There are few crops more versatile and useful than onions and garlic, added to an endless list of different recipes. From chillies and curries to stews and roast dinners; a bumper crop of onions and garlic in your veggie patch can ensure you’re never without, and can save you a huge amount of money. Planting onion and garlic sets now will result in a bumper crop to harvest by early summer – ready to be thrown in the pot or pan.
So, if you’re looking to have one last sowing and planting session this year, head over to Capital Gardens’ seeds and bulbs selection. Alternatively, you can visit us in one of three store locations or give us a call on 0208 348 5054 and our dedicated plant people can help you find the seeds and bulbs to bring your spring garden to life.