Planting Annuals in the Autumn


If you can find seeds for summer's annuals, plant some now.

By FamilyTime

 

We think of annuals as those flats of bright colored flowers that we buy in the spring and use to fill our gardens with long-blooming flowers. This is true, but it’s a wonderful idea to plant annuals in the fall, too.  Seeds carefully buried in your garden in the fall will lie dormant all winter and then pop up in the spring, filling in your garden exactly where you envisioned them last fall. How great is that?

Take a good look at the garden now, while it’s still in leaf, and decide where you could use some perky poppies, cheerful pansies, and colorful cornflowers next spring and summer.

How to Plant

Rake the soil to aerate it and then plant the seeds in rows. Cover the seeds with a firm cover of soil and label them. The labels will have to withstand the winter, so keep them low and sturdy. You also might want to keep a notebook with a diagram or careful notations.

You will be glad for the labels come spring when you might inadvertently pull up a sprouting annual, thinking it a weed.

Most fall-sown annuals lie dormant, although a few will germinate now. In either case, they won’t grow or bloom until spring.

Protect Them from Winter’s Chill

Cover the planted beds with light mulch, such as leaves, salt hay, or straw. Do not pile the mulch heavily over the garden beds but stack it one to two inches deep.

Sow these seeds late enough in the season to prevent them from germinating too much in the fall. Take heed of the weather where you live. In the south, you may not want to plant seeds in the fall, while in the far north, you might want to sow them in early October.

In most areas, mid October through early November is optimal to get them through the winter.

Flowers for Planting

Think about planting these flowers in October:

Alyssum

Cornflowers

Pansies

Snapdragons

Larkspur

Poppy

Sunflower

Calliopsis

Think about planting these flowers in November:

Cosmos

Petunias

Sweet peas

Calendula

Have fun planning next spring and summer’s garden on these bright fall days. You are giving yourself a gift that will make you smile happily come spring.