Sow annual seeds direct


Create colourful patches of flowers by sowing easy to grow hardy annuals. These will help to attract pollinating insects to the garden.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors
  • School term: Early Autumn, Early Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): English, Maths, Science

Learning objectives

  • Learn how to sow annual flower seeds directly in the soil
  • Consider the height and colour of the different flowers to create a design


Decide on a theme for your flower patch, for example, a particular colour scheme or ‘bee friendly’ flowers.

Make a list of the colour and height of the different flowers to be grown.


  • Patch of bare ground
  • Hardy annual flower seeds
  • Hand tools – trowels, hand forks, hand rakes
  • Gardening gloves
  • Watering cans
  • Sand and hula hoops to mark flower patches 
  • Labels and pencils

Step by step

  1. Prepare the soil, by using trowels or hand forks to remove any weeds, then turn over the soil and finally rake it level.
  2. Hoops are the easiest way to create a simple flower design; lay out the hoops and place the packets of seeds in each hoop.
  3. Within the hoop make small shallow channels (drills) with the edge of a trowel, to sow the seeds a long. Check the seed packet for the recommended distance between each row, as this will vary for different flowers.
  4. If the soil is dry, gently water into the drill before sowing the seeds.
  5. Sow the seeds thinly along the drill. Imagine a finger space between each seed.
  6. Cover the seeds lightly using the back of the hand or a rake.
  7. Mark the ends of each drill with a stick or label. Before you remove the hoop, mark the outline with sand.
  8. Carry on sowing the different flower seeds, each in a separate hoop or patch.
  9. Look after your flowers as they grow. Remove weeds and thin out overcrowded seedlings. In dry spells, water on a regular basis. 

Hints & tips

  • Fill a bottle with dry sand to mark out your design.
  • Sow seeds in the spring before mid April to ensure flowers grow before the end of the summer term.
  • Autumn sown hardy annuals will flower early in the next summer term.
  • Use this activity as part of Flower Power class growing topic

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