Sow perennials

It's a cheaper way to provide lots of plants for your borders.

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Perennials are great for adding colour and interest to the garden where they can either be planted on in an herbaceous border, or they can be used as part of a mixed border with shrubs and annuals. Many perennials are propagated from either cuttings or by division, but you can also grow them from seed with great results. This is ideal where you want large numbers of plants and it will work out much cheaper than having to buy in lots of plants from a nursery or garden centre.

Traditionally perennial seed was sown in late summer to produce small plants for planting out the following spring into their flowering position, but by sowing in early spring, many types of perennials will produce a flush of flowers in their first season. The flowers in the second year will be stronger, but by getting them to flower in their first year, you can weed-out out any colours you don’t want, or weak plants, keeping the best to grow on permanently. To get the seeds to germinate this early in spring, the seeds need to be sown undercover in a greenhouse or conservatory and they will need gentle heat. The easiest and most cost-effective way to do this is with an electric propagator that provides gentle bottom warmth as they grow.