August Sowing Perennials
STOP! It’s not too late - you can still plant ahead of Old Man Winter.
For all of us northerners with a frost-free date of end of Sept or early Oct, we can still plant some late summer perennial sowings. Not sure when your frost-free date is? It varies every year as we have an early or late winter, but for the official date for your region look at the Farmers Almanac.
On the topic of perennial sowings – you can still get some seeds into the garden now so the young plants can germinate and grow a bit before they over winter. This is a great way to add a lot of perennials without spending a lot of money on plants as fall-sown perennials will really take off in the spring and then will grow fast next summer. Our list for this time of year includes a few classic plants like Bellis Perennis (English Daisy), Gaillardia and Delphiniums.
Bellis Perennis is a biennial – which is gardener code for a plant that will bloom the second year after sowing then it will die after flowering but it will reseed and start the cycle over. This is different than plants that are a true perennial which over winter and re-bloom every year. Trick with Bellis it to protect the young seedlings in winter by mulching them over with a few inches of mulch – peat moss, compost or straw.
Delphiniums are a true Stokes farm favorite with tall spikes that can frame a garden space or add punch of color as an indoor cut flower. We have several different mixes and colors available. The Benary's Pacific Mix offers a great balance of colors and a plant that will bloom in early summer if you sow seeds in the fall. There is a trick with Delphinium seeds in that they like to be frozen for 24 hours ahead of sowing outside. Put the package in the freezer then sow in a sunny space, but remember that the plants will grow tall. Delphiniums are perennials but we like to re-sow fresh seed every few years to keep the plants strong, the flower stems large and the colors vibrant.
Times running out - happy sowing!