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Late Summer Seed Sowing

It may be a surprise to you, but now is actually a very busy time for sowing seeds. Oh yes! You may have thought that spring was the time to sow, and that now it has gone there is nothing to do. Oh how wrong you are. Yes, gardeners do sow seeds at times other than spring. Here is my run-down of what I’ll be sowing in the greenhouse over the next two or three weeks:
  • Pansies and violas for flowering in winter and spring
  • Hardy annual poppies (papaver varieties), California poppies (eschscholzia), cornflowers (centaurea), pot marigolds (calendula) and larkspurs (small delphinium-like plants); all of these will flower next summer
  • Herbs parsley, chervil and coriander for using during the winter
There are some seeds that can be sown straight outdoors now, as well. These include:
  • Spring onions ‘Shimonita’ and ‘White Lisbon’
  • Red radish ‘French Breakfast’ and the Chinese radish ‘Mantanghong’
  • Lettuce ‘Hilde II’ for harvesting in October
  • Lettuce ‘Lamb’s Trophy’ for harvesting throughout winter and into spring
  • Salad leaves
  • Cabbages ‘Durham Early’ and ‘Winter Special’
  • Swiss chard
  • Land cress ‘American Salad’
  • Pak choi ‘Canton White’ and ‘Ivory’
  • Kohl rabi ‘Ballot’
  • Spinach ‘El Grinta’
  • Turnip ‘Sweet Bell’
  • Radicchio ‘Pan Di Zucchero’
Finally, don’t forget to buy your sweet pea seeds for sowing from September onwards. I always soak my seeds overnight before sowing them – this way you get an even better germination rate.
Fortunately, all these varieties, and hundreds more, are available from Unwins Seeds. If you cannot find them in your local garden centre, do visit the easy-to-follow website, to find the complete range of flower, vegetable and herb seeds available now. Also, look out for the Unwins Gro-sure branding – these varieties have been specially selected and treated to give the very best, and guaranteed results.
Final tip: I’m also sowing some of my favourite plants – stocks ‘Cinderella Mix’, hollyhock ‘Jet Black’ and the sea holly (Eryngium ‘Miss Willmotts Ghost’). Also from Unwins, these three should really have been sown a few weeks back, but I know it won’t hurt putting them in a little later than the recommended time.
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