Interflora provides advice on making flowers last longer
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Growing flowers is the easiest way to brighten up any garden, many of which are very easy to establish from just a handful of seeds. The warm summer soil is perfect for raising young seedlings, and there are plenty of blooms that are ready to get going right now. Here’s your guide on the best flowers to sow in July and exactly how to care for in-season blooms to keep them thriving all summer long.
What to sow in July
From cottage-garden staples to classic border varieties, there are plenty of flowers that can be sown in July.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Dani Turner, customer experience director at online florist Bunches, said; “Cornflowers and Forget-Me-Nots are popular summer flowers, and all look great in beds and borders.
“If you are planting seeds, most won’t bloom until next year, however, you can pick up plants that can be placed directly into your garden from your local garden centre.”
Cornflowers are beautiful wildflowers perfect for attracting bees, butterflies and other pollinators.
These delicate flowers can be eaten too, making for a unique garnish to finish off drinks, bakes and cakes – or even as a colourful addition to a summer salad.
According to Dani, cornflowers will do best when sown into well-drained soil, in a sunny spot where they can “soak in the rays all day”.
She explained that the best way to grow cornflowers from seed is to follow this five-step method:
- Find a sunny spot in your garden and remove all weeds from the area using a trowel
- Rake the soil until it is a fine, crumbly texture
- Make some small holes a couple of centimetres deep, and water the soil before planting your seeds
- If planting multiple seeds, leave 30cm between each row to allow for plenty of growing space
- Once the seeds are in the soil, gently cover them with even more to keep them protected
- Cut the top off a plastic bottle and place over your seedlings to protect them from snails and slugs – the seedlings will struggle to grow if eaten by pests
The sowing season for Forget-Me-Nots lasts from late spring to late summer in the UK, or once the risk of frost has passed.
Dani said: “This is a humble but glorious flower, which appears in frothy blue clouds at the front of borders and at the edges of paths.
“It complements other flowers, making a great backdrop for taller tulips or wallflowers. It can also look great in a window box or container.”
To grow Forget-Me-Nots successfully, you will need to sow them at a site with moist but well-drained soil. Shaded or partially shaded spots are best.
Before planting Forget-Me-Not seeds, you will need to weed the area completely and moisten the soil with some water.
Rake the soil into a fine texture and plant the seeds to around half a centimetre deep, with 15cm to 30cm between each one.
Once the seeds are in the soil, gently cover them over with approximately half a centimetre of soil.
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How to look after summer-flowering plants
Removing fading blooms from bedding plants and repeat-flowering perennials should be a top priority for gardeners looking to extend the summer flowering period.
Dani recommended using bamboo canes to support taller blooms such as Delphiniums which can struggle to cope with strong wind and rain without protection.
She said: “Be sure to water your plants and flowers when the weather is much drier, use a watering can as opposed to a hose to protect your most delicate garden blooms.”
Nem Vorkapic, Head of Floristry and Design at Floward, also advised gardeners to keep an eye on their watering habits when it comes to delphinium flowers.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, she said: “Delphiniums thrive best in moist soil that has full sun exposure, but they struggle in wet winter soil.”
To combat this, aid drainage by adding grit to the planting hole before the end of summer – especially if you have heavy soil.
She recommended cutting delphinium flower stalks after blooming too, to ensure that new growth can “develop and survive” in the cooler months.
Sweat peas mainly flower in the months of June and July, but can bloom earlier or even beyond this period depending on when they were planted.
According to Nem, watering, feeding and deadheading sweat peas is crucial in order to prolong their flowering season, as they are thirsty and hungry plants.
It’s important to support tall sunflowers with stakes as they grow, to ensure they don’t droop. Nem said: “They need plenty of water too, and are particularly fond of tomato feed prior to flowering in order to promote growth and blooming.”
This popular bloom can also be planted right now, just make sure that you leave plenty of space between the seeds.
Around six inches between each seed, planted at a depth of 1-1.5 inches will do to grow a successful sunflower display.
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