prep for next year’s blooms |

Picking the best flowers to sow in the fall will guarantee the best start on next year’s ornamentals. Many annuals and perennials benefit from being started as we approach the quiet end of the year. It gives them a chance to grow stronger roots and shoots, so they can storm ahead the following spring. Plants that are a little more mature in the weeks of early summer can better fend off pests and bugs. Ultimately, it also means they produce flowers earlier in the season, which is the main goal of fall sowing. 

Despite this, we may hesitate when it comes to sowing in the fall. After all, why not wait until the sun and soil are warm in spring, and there’s less risk of frost damage? We have to remember that in wild settings, seedheads will naturally dry, burst open and fall to the ground at the end of summer. These seeds are either ready to germinate or lie dormant until conditions are right again, only starting into life after a cold snap. So fall sowing is just taking advantage of the natural cycle. 

You might think early sowing is the preserve of those with space to store large trays and pots of seedlings over winter. But while some fall-sown seeds do need protection from prolonged cold spells, many are fine in a porch or small shelter, or using a layer of fleece. Even if you only squeeze in a small grow house, it’s worth sowing a few early seeds. After all, it’s so busy in spring as we prepare our flowerbed ideas that it makes sense to have a few young plants ready to go in the ground. So make plans now for next year’s showstoppers…

cornflowers and ammi majus flowering in summer display

Give hardy annuals such as cornflowers and Ammi majus a flying start by sowing in the fall 

(Image credit: Matthew Taylor / Alamy)

16 of the best flowers to sow in the fall for beautiful blooms in the new year

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