Sow flowers even in Winter for Pollinators

There are flowers we can sow even in the colder weather that will sleep happily and pop up just in time for sleepy hungry pollinators to get buzzy about, right there amongst the vegies. Here are our top picks for cheap and easy Level Zero flower seeds (the ‘just-chuck-em-in’ kind) to sow in Winter.

{psst: and a bonus this season – these three winter choices have edible blossoms, and look supercute on a salad or pretty garnish}

June – ALYSSUM

Like snow in your vegie beds, these pretty little flower mounds are a favourite for pollinators, self-seed like a champion, and boom even in hot summers when other flowers might struggle. The white variety are the most attractive to bees, and most hardy. If you have truly hideous winters, you may find they stay asleep for a while, but don’t panic…. they are just waiting for the right moment to spring to life.

July – VIOLA Johnny Jump-ups

Cute-as-a-button golden kitty faces of these wild little violas are lovely any time of year, but they can handle the cold too so why not put them in this month to get a Johnny July Jump on spring to come. With self-seeding if you leave them long enough, you’ll get another run of them from late summer through to bloom again late Autumn – excellent value.

August – CALENDULA

Prepare for cheery, sunny blooms of Calendula by sowing in August. Our local indigenous season is ‘Guling’ (Orchid Season), and though cold and wet, you’ll feel the season changing. Here in Victoria, the native orchids are on show, Wattle buds get ready to burst, male buck koalas can be heard bellowing at night, and caterpillars are fully on the march. Our early stone fruit blossoms may even burst early. In this weather, Calendular seeds will fair just fine.

~FROST~ These winter seeds are all pretty hardy, but if your place gets some serious Jack Frost action, then even just an upturned plastic ‘roller box’ type container over the top at night with a brick weight on top will be more than enough protection until they get going.

Growing Method for easy flower seeds:

With the chilly weather, these little babies will be happy to sleep, take up soaking rain and soil nutrients in their own sweet time. Sowing them is as easy as swapping or buying a packet of seed (just one will do – these are veggie bed flowers and will take up just a smidge of space), rip 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. Ground moisture and rain will water them.

Seriously the quickest way to plant your pollinator food flowers each month
  1. I made rough scratched rows with my garden knife to put the teeny tiny seed
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. All in and ready for rain. If it’s quite dry at your place, then a light sprinkle every other day til they pop up is enough.
attract pollinators with flowers

Sow easy flowers in Autumn for Pollinators

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.

sow Sweetpeas in March

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 is time to sow poppies

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).

Seriously the quickest way to plant your pollinator food flowers each month
  1. I made rough scratched rows with my garden knife to put the teeny tiny seed
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.