Easy growing cut flowers to start propagating now

It’s moving towards mid February, it’s light when I get out of bed now, and I was still in the Greenhouse at 5pm yesterday.

My Fingers are itching to start sowing seeds, so if like me you’re keen to be off, which ones will be successful from early sowing when the light levels are still fairly low?

Sweet peas

Claire picking flowers.jpg

If you're a beginner gardener, I recommend the Spencer varieties. These are great for scented summer blooms. I love the blue of Noel Sutton, and the pink frilled edge of Anniversary. If sown this week, you are likely to have flowers at the beginning of July.

Top tips

  • Sow in a deep pot, or a root trainer

  • You can soak them first, or even leave them on some wet cotton wool or tissue for a few days to sprout, but i'd just suggest buying good quality seed (i.e not those that are in the cheap rack at the garden centre) 

  • Make sure your compost is sieved, and add some vermiculite for good drainage, soak well when you’ve planted them.

  • When they've got a good healthy root growth plant them out, but they often sulk for a couple of weeks after planting, so don't worry. 

  • Tie them into something so they grow upwards

  • feed and water well

  • pick, and pick and pick, as soon as they start flowering


Cornflowers

Many different colours of cornflowers

Many different colours of cornflowers

There are lots of colours of cornflowers now, and as a cut flower, although fiddly to pick, they are beautiful on their own or with other things.

Top Tips

  • if sowing early during February, don’t give them heat so they germinate slower than the normal 3-5 days, but won’t become leggy and difficult to handle.

  • Sow seeds in modules, or prick out when just 2 leaves. (Usually only 10 days- 2 weeks after sowing)

  • Plant them out at least 30cm apart, this will mean that each plant produces a minimum of 20-30 flowers if you cut them regularly

  • Pick and pick and pick

Ammi

Simple ammi and cornflowers arrangement.jpg

Ammi and Cornflowers grow so well together that really they shouldn't not be both grown. This was a picture (by Emma Davies) of one of my first arrangements, and just a few plants of each will give you a similar arrangement every week for several summer months.

Top Tips

  • Ammi Major is slightly easier to grow than Ammi Visnaga

  • Both are small seeds, don't sow to thickly, or sow in deep modules

  • They don't like root disturbance, so prick/ thin out when very small

  • Plant at least 30cm apart as they'll grow tall

  • Pick and pick and pick

Scabious

scabious blue.jpg

The Annual Scabious, are beautiful in the garden and in the vase, and now is a great time to be starting them.

Top tips

  • These are bigger seeds than most, so are easy to sow one of 2 per module

  • They can be covered with compost or vermiculite and will take about 10 days to germinate

  • plant out as soon as the roots fill the module, can be as quickly as 6-8 weeks from sowing

  • space at least 30cm apart, these will produce masses of flowers

  • pick and pick and pick and pick, on as long stems as possible. They will start flowering in July from an Feb / early March sowing, then will have  pause, but will reflower again in September.

So, these are great suggestions for those with itchy fingers wanting to begin their seeds. But what should you NOT sow now?

Well the Half hardy annuals will need to be in the greenhouse until the last week in May, so, I would suggest that you hold off sowing the following

Zinnias

Cosmos

Asters

and

Amaranthus