May sowing update
Cornfield annuals sown in March and April have germinated well and are making good progress.
EC2 annual seedlings and young plants mid-may from a sowing 9th March 2009
‘Last minute' sowings of annuals in the first half of May however are always a gamble as there is not much growing time left for them to catch up and produce a result. (Autumn sown annuals are already starting to flower).
Late sowings this year in eastern England are struggling due to lack of rain in April and May and are unlikely to reach their full potential.
For anyone with cornfield annual seeds that have not yet been sown, and have now missed the spring sowing window, the best advice is to store them in a cool dry place and wait to sow them in the autumn for a 2010 display.
Meadow mixture sowings of grass and perennial wild flowers can continue into May or June in the wetter west and north and may also be possible in the south and east provided the current showery spell we are experiencing continues to deliver the much needed rain.
To obtain best results from sowing seed in drier spells:
• Try to conserve soil moisture by not over cultivating the soil
• Roll or tread the seedbed well after sowing.
Watering is an option for small sites but requires a significant commitment of water as it must be done thoroughly. Light or inconsistent watering through a hot dry spell can be worse than leaving the seed to wait for rain as it stimulates seeds to germinate but then leaves them exposed to drought.
Posted on 15 May 2009,