Annuals? The time is now!

Last year, I fretted mightily about the right time for sowing annuals. We didn't have decent rains until spring, and I worried about frost and birds...

This year is completely different. Many of my annuals reseeded and seem to do well. I think I see baby blue-eyes (above) and five spot, both reseeding from last year.

Lots of poppies, as always, but also some tidy tips (I do hope they'll make it - only had 5 plants).

And the clarkias, both Clarkia unguiculata and Clarkia amoena, have started to show their little green leaves for a few weeks.

So, what will I do to really reap the harvest that the seedlings promise?
  • Check for weeds. I've gotten pretty good at seeing which little plant is a friend, and which is not so welcome. 
  • Use slug bait if necessary. I'm using a fairly non-toxic product when I start to see slug damage. Slugs don't like the redwood twigs and needles that cover much of my garden, but sometimes I get a few anyway, and I don't hesitate to protect my baby plants. 
  • Water if necessary. The plants have loved the rain we've had during the last few weeks, but when little, they dry out quickly. I'll keep an eye on the soil moisture and give my plants a little extra rain if necessary. 
  • For a longer bloom period, I'm also planning on sewing some seeds from last year in mid-January and maybe even in mid-February. It's a great way to have native annuals for several months. 
If you don't have seeds, it's easy to order them online. I like Larner's Seeds and the Theodore Payne Society also has a great collection. But don't wait! The time is now!


Country Mouse said…
The only annual I think I'm growing - of the wild flower kind anyway - is purple chalice clarkia - which is local here. The ones I grew last year have reseeded as vigorously as I had hoped and are now little sprouts. I'm going to see how they fare with the rabbits and so on - but like you, I'll water as needed. Your photos are lovely and very encouraging in this less than colorful time of year in the garden!
ryan said…
I seeded a bunch of wildflowers this year. In one area they're doing well, but near our office the slugs and our dog seem to be taking out most of them, so I'll have to try again. I never seem to have much luck with Baby Blue Eyes, I think because I don't bait for slugs like you suggest, but the Clarkias do really well.
Now the rain has stopped, and we're expected to dry out for the next week, I'm anxious to see what's reseeded on our orchard slope. I removed the Nemophila (aka Vole caviar) last winter, but I'm hoping our Goldfields, Chia, and Poppies, are resprouting. It is encouraging that our winter so far has had better rainfall. Last year we had spotty germination due to the dry period from December through January. Hopefully we'll all have more blooms this spring though!
James said…
Good to see some of last year's plants have reseeded. I've got chia and clarkia coming up prolifically, and among the perennials and shrubs there's Heuchera and San Miguel Island buckwheat seedlings everywhere. I also added a half dozen other selections to the mix via fresh seed, including the Nemophila you appear to have coming back. Cross your fingers and hope the rain cooperates.

Happy 2013!