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Flower seeds to sow now

A few flowers that benefit from early sowing

Sweet Peas

The lore is that the best sweet peas are sown in December to give them time to get their roots down while the cold air of winter keeps the top growth sturdy. Sowing in January and early February gives as good results. Sweet peas sown now will need protection, be that a cold greenhouse, the plastic patio sort, a cold frame, a cold front porch or a sheltered balcony. You need good light and must keep the very worst frost off (the plants can’t go below 5C). But once the seedlings are up, they should be kept cold: this causes the plant to sideshoot, which means bushier growth and more flowers.


Begonias are flamboyant, mostly tender perennials that are used in bedding, pot and hanging basket displays. They have a reputation for being a little old fashioned, but the bold new varieties are very different to the dainty plants that were traditionally used in bedding schemes. Some have masses of long-lasting, showy flowers in neon shades that are great for pots and hanging baskets, while others are grown for their spectacular, eye-catching foliage. All begonias do best out of direct sun, so are a welcome addition to a shady patio or border.


Annual lobelia will grow nearly anywhere. Lobelia seeds can be sown directly in the garden or indoors for later transplanting. These plants typically require an area with full sun but will tolerate partial shade. They also prefer moist, rich soil. Start indoors about 10 to 12 weeks prior to the last frost in your region. Spread the tiny seeds just on top of the soil and water thoroughly. Place them in a warm, well-lit area. The seedlings should pop up within a week or two, at which time you can begin thinning them out. After all danger of frost is gone and the plants are at least 2 to 3 inches (5-7.5 cm.) tall, transplant them to the garden—spacing about 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm.) apart.


Geraniums grow readily from seed. However, to grow geranium from seed, you need to be patient. From seed to flower can take up to 16 weeks. Germinating seeds requires a photoperiod and heat, but the most important thing if you want summer bedding plants is knowing when to sow. Most experts recommend January to February. Plant seeds indoors in most regions, unless you live where winters are warm and sunny. In these regions, gardeners can try direct sowing geranium seeds in a prepared bed.


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