■ fine-quality soil without pebbles or stones
■ sunny site without the shade of trees or large shrubs
■ plentiful water supply close at hand
■ supply of labels or markers
make sure that a finely tilled soil is created by raking it over to remove any lumps or pebbles. Such lumps prevent the seeds from reaching the light, thereby cutting clown on the number that successfully germinate.
How deep to sow
Most seeds need to be covered with twice their own depth of soil, so the finer the seeds, the closer to the surface they are sown.
Broadcast or drills?
Annuals are not too fussy about the nutrient content of the soil and will thrive in poor ground, but all seeds need a free-draining soil that is fine in quality, with any stones or pebbles removed. If you sow the seeds broadcast (literally, spread about, rather than in any order), the danger is that you will then not be able to distinguish between the seedlings and young weeds. If you sow in neat rows, or drills, it is easier to see what to remove and what to preserve. Remember to label your rows carefully, otherwise a month later you will have no idea what you sow:ed where.
Sowing seeds outdoors is to some degree a hit-or-miss operation, because changing weather conditions can easily destroy an entire crop of seedlings—for
example, if it rains very heavily-after sowing. For this reason, it is a good idea to plan any such planting for random infilling, so that your overall design is not spoiled if the plants fail to flourish in some areas.

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