Winter season is always the best time to grow beautiful flowers in your garden especially in a place like Jammu where we experience extreme hot weather during summers. And as such gardening in summer needs intensive care and gives a half satisfactory result. So, if somebody is interested in gardening and desire a flash of colour in their garden, then winter season annuals are the answer. These blooms will always spread happiness around us. Annuals are plants which grow from seeds, produce flowers, set seeds and die down (or complete their life cycle) within one season or one year. These flowers are able to tolerate low temperatures and can be easily grown during winter months (i.e. September-October). Annual flowers are raised from seeds. Open pollinated as well as hybrid seeds of various annuals flowers are available in the market and can be procured for beautification of homes, Lawns, Offices and surroundings. There are a number of winter season flowering annuals like Ageratum houstonianum (Floss Flower, Bluemink), Althea rosea (Hollyhock), Alyssum maritimum (Sweet Alyssum/Madwort), Agrostemma githago, Antirrhinum majus (Snapdragon /Dog Flower), Arctotis stoechadifolia (African Daisy), Bellis perennis, Brachycome iberidifolia (Swan River Daisy),Calendula officinalis (Pot Marigold), Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower),Centaurea moschata (Sweet Sultan),Chrysanthemum crinatum/ C. tricolor, Chrysanthemum coronarium (Annual chrysanthemum),Coreopsis tinctoria (Tickseed), Delphinium ejacis (Larkspur), Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William), Dimorphotheca aurantiaca (Cape Marigold), Echium plantagineum, Eschscholtzia californica (Californian Poppy),Gazania splendens (Gazania), Godetia grandiflora (Satin Flower),Gypsophila elegans (Baby’s Breath), Helichrysum breacteatum (Straw Flower), Helipterum roseum Iberis iberidifolia (Candytuft), Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet Pea), Limonium sinuatum (Statice), Linaria bipartita (Toad Flax), Lupines hartwegii (Lupin, Annual Lupin), Malva sylvestris (Mallow), Mathiola incana (Stock), Mesembryanthemum tricolor (Ice Plant), Molucella laevis (Bells of Ireland), Papaver rhoeas (Shirley Poppy), Petunia hybrid (Petunia), Phlox drummondii (Annual Phlox), Tagetes erecta (African Marigold), Tagetes patula (French marigold), Tropaeoleum majus, Verbena hybrida (Verbena),Vinca rosea (Periwinkle, sada bahar), Viola odorata (Sweet violet), Viola tricolor (Pansy),The seeds of these flowers are sown in the nursery during the month of September-October. If the seeds are sown in the month of September, seedlings are transplanted in the month of October and if the seeds are sown in the October, then the seedlings are transplanted in the month of November. The annual flower seedlings are transplanted either in beds, pots, hanging baskets, in trays and vertical walls. Flowering occurs in the month of February -March. Annual flowers are available in a wide range of colous. They can be grouped according to height as Tall -medium-small or according to the colour as Red-Blue-Yellow etc. so that the beds or the lawn looks beautiful and awesome. Seeds of annual flowers are sown in beds, Pots, flat boxes etc. For bed sowing, beds of dimensions 1m X 3m X 1.5 c.m (L X B X H) are made. The seeds are sown either in lines 5-6 cm apart and 1 cm deep or can be broadcasted in the beds. After that the beds are covered with any mulch material like polythene or paddy straw and light watered. Light irrigation should be given with watering can. The seeds start germinating within 4-5 days. After that the mulch material should be removed and should be watered .The seedlings become ready for transplanting after 15-20 days when they have got four leaves at least. For sowing in Pots and flat boxes, these are filed with a mixture of Garden soil, sand and FYM in the ratio of 2:1:2. Then the seeds are spread over gently and covered with a mixture of sieved soil and FYM and watered with fine rose can. The seedlings get ready for transplanting in a period of 15-20 days at four leave stage.
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