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08. February 2019

Sowing flowers in winter

I start sowing flowers early in the year, even in winter. It works really well, try it!

Mängder av rosenskära blommar i rosa en disig dag. Sowing flowers, beautiful pink garden cosmos.

Garden cosmos is a beautiful summer flower I like to sow in winter.

 

As you might know by now, I mostly grow vegetables. A lot of them! But I also adore flowers. My seed box is like a large palette with plenty of colorful options I can use to decorate my kitchen garden. I just love watching the flowers bloom. Garden cosmos (like in the picture above) might be the most beautiful flowers I know of!

Read more about flowers here

 

Winter sow to save time

I try to give myself a head start in spring by preparing all of the seeds I can sow outdoors in winter. It might seem illogical or possibly impossible to do, but you can actually start sowing flowers in winter. A good benchmark to remember is that most of the flowers that self-sow have hardy seeds that can survive in (or on top of) the soil during winter. Those of you who know your gardens might be aware of which flowers these are. If you don't know for sure, you could always look at the back of the seed packets and pick the seeds that you can sow in around October-December.

 

En rad med smala odlingslådor i köksträdgården. Sowing flowers, a row of cultivation boxes in my kitchen garden.

The little cultivation boxes have been untouched since the frost nights that ruined the fall vegetables. I'm sowing new seeds now, there's room for plenty of beautiful summer flowers here!

 

Where should I sow?

OUTSIDE -  Scatter the seeds in for example your flower beds and put a little soil on top. The plants start to grow and bloom in spring.

POT/TROUGH - Sow the seeds sparsely in a pot filled with soil in winter, and leave the pot outdoors (preferably in a shady spot.) The soil will get watered by the rains and the seeds start to grow. Just make sure that the pot doesn't get too wet since this might affect the soil and seeds in a negative way.

POT/TROUGH IN A PLASTIC CONTAINER - Follow the steps above but put the pots in a plastic container with holes in the bottom and the lid, in a shady spot outdoors. The plastic container turns into a miniature greenhouse that will protect the seeds in spring and give you an earlier harvest than the two other options above.

BEDS IN THE POLYTUNNEL/GREENHOUSE - Use the same method as when you want to sow outside. Sow the seeds in a limited and well-marked space in one of the beds in your polytunnel or greenhouse. The seeds grow quicker here than outside and you can move the plants outside when it's warm enough.

CULTIVATION BOX OUTDOORS - Sow the seeds sparsely in a marked space in your cultivation box. Cover with a lid or fabric, or leave it as it is. Move the plants outside when they have grown large enough. The sowings in the cultivation box aren't as well protected as the seeds in the polytunnel or miniature greenhouse and they will start growing later in spring.

 

Odlingslådor med bar jord. Sowing flowers, bare cultivation boxes.

Ready to sow! I have been fertilizing these boxes with bokashi compost to prepare them for the new sowings.

 

When I'm sowing flowers this way, I always count on that the results will be slightly less satisfying than when I do more controlled sowings in troughs and then replant them later. The flowers I choose to grow now are generally the varieties I have plenty of seeds for at home. I gathered some of them by myself, or bought seed packets that contain hundreds of seeds in each packet.

 

Summer flowers I sow

Garden cosmos
Sunflowers
Poppy
Marigold
Starflower
Tall verbena
Garden mignonette
Ragged lady
Rocket larkspur

I always feel so satisfied when I'm done with my sowings. I keep using more and more space in my kitchen garden now already and I'm sure that nature will take it's course and give me good results. This is not all though, I will keep sowing flowers in spring and summer too. But this is a good start!
/Sara Bäckmo

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