For many garden veggies, we need pollinators. We want them to feel welcome in our veggie patch and firmly on their regular travel schedule – come for the flowers, stay for the veggies. Right now is a great time to sow cheap and easy Level Zero flower seeds (the ‘just-chuck-em-in’ kind) right there in your garden bed or pot, next to veggies. No seedlings, no fussing, no prep. Here are our top picks for Autumn.
MARCH – SWEET PEAS
March, and in particular, St Patrick’s Day, is a traditionally popular time in Australia to sow Sweetpeas. Easy seeds to poke in the ground with your finger and perfect for little folks at your place to plant and watch grow over winter. Some kinds are tall and need a few sticks poked in to climb onto, but there are also dwarf varieties that bush up lower down. Both are beautiful and great pollinator show-offs.
APRIL – POPPIES
Think Anzac, think poppies. Loved by bees and hoverflies, these will self-seed (this means to drop their seed in-situ and regrow without you replanting year after year) if you let them. In the northern hemisphere, they flower at this time, but here run Australia, it is the month to plant and remember; lest we forget.
MAY – CORNFLOWER
Cornflowers will pop up despite the frost, and grow slowly but happily through the winter months. They are tall and proud in the garden, and favourites for all sorts of beneficial insects. Cornflowers blooms and leaves are edible, but somewhat bitter. The petals are sweeter, and look amazing sprinkled on cupcakes, salads and cucumber sandwiches.
Growing Method for easy flower seeds:
Frankly couldn’t be easier – buy a few seeds (or swap with a friend), rip open the packet, scratch up the soil with your dibber or the totally indispensable garden knife (or even an old fork), sprinkle seeds on the soil, scratch in again to cover, and walk away. So long as the area will be rained on later, no need to even water them in; it’ll happen naturally. This time of year it’s easier to count on incidental rain rather than standing there watering things.
We will show a few planting demos on our instagram stories during Autumn and Winter so you can see just how easy it is, but here is a quick pic of some poppies going in – a packet I was given by a lovely neighbour. It is a space between the walking onions I just replanted – nothing fancy, just about as big as a drinks tray and using my garden knife. I can always move half to another spot later if I want to (but rarely can be bothered).
- I made rough scratched rows with my garden knife to put the teeny tiny seed
- sowed the seed (nothing too precious, just guessed) and then scratched the other way to cover them but still leave mini furrows to keep them from floating away in any rain
- used some scrap twigs from the morning pruning of a bush to poke in around them to remember where I planted them, keep the birdies off and provide a mini wind break. Also if I want to cover with a tea towel on heavy frost nights, it grabs onto the twigs and won’t blow away.
- Ta-daa, all in and ready for rain. Seriously, I have never watered in autumn seeds as rain generally comes within the week. If not at your place, then a light sprinkle every other day til they pop up is enough.