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Welcome to the CountryLife Gardening Blog, written by our horticulturist to provide you with the best tips & advice for all things gardening!  We have been shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category. 

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Late Season Sowing

by CountryLife Gardening | Aug 11, 2016
late season flowers sowing from seed

Last week we took a look at vegetables that you could plant now to prolong the growing season right through until winter. And while many people are often surprised, it is not just vegetables that you sow now you can also sow flower seeds at this time of the year to get an early start on colour for next year.

Often when customers come in to CountryLife and ask about sowing seeds around this time of the year, especially with flowers which will not flower until next year, they ask if they should sow them in pots first or directly into the ground. Both are perfectly good options, but I personally prefer to sow directly into the position I want the flowers to grow in. I find that I always get better results when I do it this way and I also find it means less work and maintenance for me over the winter months.

East to grow from seedSowing rates and sowing depths for seeds are different depending on the flower and even depending on the individual variety of flower. This means it is vitally important to read the instructions on the back of the packet of seeds to make sure you are sowing them correctly and that you will get the best results from your seeds.

If you want the best results from your seeds it is also important to use the freshest seeds possible. Generally seeds have a best before date of around a year to two years, after this their germination rate drops dramatically. If you are in doubt about the quality of your seeds it is best to buy a new packet just to ensure you get viable plants the following spring or summer. And when you look at the number of flowers you can get from one packet of seeds its not a huge investment to buy a new packet.

Cornflower is very popular at the momentThe list of seeds that you can sow at this time of year is endless to be honest but there are a few that always prove popular with customers. Cornflower has been very popular the last few years because of the vibrant colours they come in and for the fact they require very little maintenance. Dwarf Cornflowers in particularly seem very popular at the moment. If you sow Cornflower seeds between now and September you can be enjoying the flowers by next June.

Calendula or English Marigold as it is more commonly called has been popular in Irish gardens since I was a kid. The vibrant orange flowers add a great splash of colour to any flowerbed. Sowing seeds now will give you flowers in mid-spring to early-summer the following year. Wallflowers are just as popular of a flower and put on great Spring displays if you plant them in early Autumn the previous year. If you plant them closer to winter you can enjoy the flowers the following Autumn.

California Poppy, Sweet Pea, Stock, Nigella, violas and lupins are also great flowers to sow around this time of year to enjoy next year. So really the hardest task on your hands now is to figure out what you want to sow!

Written by Malachy

Here to help! - remember if you have any questions feel free to pop into one of our garden centres or you can contact us on our Facebook and Twitter pages and email us at: hello@countrylife.ie

Malachy's Bio 
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!

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