20170807A Cool Wave Blueberry Swirl BallSeed.jpg
Pansy ‘Cool Wave Blueberry Swirl’. Photo:  BallSeed

Did you know you can sow your pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) for next year’s garden now, that is, at the end of July or in August?

Surprising, I know, but think of it this way. Pansies are not really annuals, but rather biennials or short-lived perennials (they rarely live more than 3 years) hardy to zone 4 or even 3. If sown in late summer, in the ground or in pots, that will give you seedlings you can transplant to their final location in October … and that will be ready to bloom as soon as the snow melts next spring.

One less task to carry out during the busy spring period!

Sowing pansies is simple enough. Just trace a furrow or drill small individual holes about ¼ inch (6 mm) deep in rich, moist soil in the sun or partial shade. Sow the seeds, cover them with soil and water well. That’s all!

Afterwards, just water when the soil is dry and keep weeds away. The tiny plants will do the rest!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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