As summer tips into autumn it’s easy to think that the sowing season has come to an end. In fact there are many things that you can start off now both in the flower garden and vegetable plot.
Sow seeds for hardy annuals to give flowers earlier next summer. It also tends to produce more robust plants. Follow these up with a second sowing in late winter and you will have flowers for months.
There are many vegetables that can also be sown now either to give you something to harvest over winter or for an early crop next year.
There’s also time to get a last batch of fast-growing things such as radish in before winter. Direct sow them now in warm soil and they should mature before the cold weather sets in.
Here are some of my suggestions for what you can start growing this month.
Californian poppies (Eschscholzia californica)
For an easy splash of summer colour there’s little better than the California poppy. These can be direct sown now into weed-free soil or containers. They love a sunny spot and well-drained soil.
Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
One of the stalwarts of meadow planting, the cornflower is perfect for sowing now. Why not avoid the usual blue and go for deep plummy purple or pale pink varieties.
A lovely annual for filling in between other plants and it’s loved by bees. The colour range is also wide with flowers in white, purple and blue. Sow them now in a seed try, pot on and plant out in their flowering position in spring.
Every kitchen garden should have garlic and it’s best planted now. Choose bulbs from a reputable supplier rather than planting supermarket garlic as they may carry disease.
Homegrown broad beans are a spring delicacy. Sow the autumn variety ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ now to get the earliest crop.
A hardy winter variety of spinach will give you tasty and nutritious leaves to pick all winter. Give it a sunny spot and some winter protection in colder areas.