When to plant seeds outdoors – and the simple hack you need to plant flower seeds NOW

Gardeners' World: Monty Don shares tips for planting seeds

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Everybody enjoys a colourful garden at the best of times, and planting flower seeds is absolutely essential to get the very best out of your outdoor space. But when should you actually be planting your seeds to have the maximum effect?

Most annual flowers need about three months to develop into a full flower from their seeds.

Petunias, poppies, sunflowers, calendulas, and sweet alyssums are some of the easiest – and fastest – flowers to grow in your backgarden.

Dependent on how much sunlight your garden gets, and the local temperature, these flowers may need as little as 60 days to unveil their colourful petals.

With spring only a few weeks away now, you may be thinking about planting your flower seeds soon.

When to plant seeds outdoors

Seeds will usually germinate relatively quickly in perfect soil, according to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

That usually means you should plant your seeds between the middle of spring and early summer.

Therefore, ideally, you’ll be looking to sow the seeds between April and June, it said.

But, you should always check the seed packaging for the best advice on when to plant them.

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When it comes to sowing your seeds, you’ll want a moist, warm soil, added the RHS.

Your soil beds should be dug over well in advance, so that the soil has plenty of time to settle.

Turning over the soil to around the spade’s depth should be enough to provide an optimum environment.

Pick off any remaining weeds and debris, and then use small hoe to create a trench for your seeds.

Add water to the trench before adding the seeds, and then thinly scatter your seeds, before covering it over with excess soil.

Don’t forget to water your seeds in dry spells, and they should start to germinate within a few weeks.

If the weather takes a turn for the worse, your seeds could be in trouble under heavy rain.

Make sure to cover the seeds with a potting media to protect against heavy rain.

How to plant seeds early

If you really don’t want to wait until April to start growing your garden, there’s a simple hack that could help your seeds to grow earlier.

You’ll need a crop protection to cover your soil, said the RHS.

“If you can provide the crop with protection, such as cloches or fleece, sowing can begin in early spring,” it said.

“Likewise, regular watering will make it possible to raise rows of seedlings in the height of summer.”

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