‘Let them do their thing!’ Adam Frost shares self-seeding plants to grow for free flowers

Adam Frost shares advice on self-seeding plants

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Self-seeding plants are a great way to get free flowers into your garden. If they’re planted correctly, they will disperse their seeds which will grow anywhere they land. The plants will not only make your borders look bright and colourful but more informal too.

Gardeners’ World presenter Adam Frost shared which varieties he grows and allows to “do their thing”.

He said in an episode of the show from September last year: “What I’m trying to do here is put a load of plants in that self-seed.

“Things like digitalis, foxgloves, cardoons – I let them do their thing.

“Then what I do is, in places, I go in and edit.

“So if it seeds around then what I’ll do it just go in and thin it out in places where I don’t want it.

“But the other thing I do is collect some of the seed.

“Here I’ve got digitalis lutea and its seed I collected about six weeks ago.”

Digitalis lutea is a straw foxglove – a herbaceous perennial that can grow up to 60cm tall.

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The plant begins to flower I early to midsummer with pretty soft yellow blooms.

Adam continued: “I want to introduce them somewhere else in the garden.

“I’ve sown them in a seed compost and they’re now at the point where I can just start to prick them out into pots.

“I’ve made a mix of compost that will retain moisture.

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“What I’ve done is I’ve used some composted bark in here, I’ve used some soil in there and I’ve used some peat-free compost and a little bit of grit.

“Next thing is to prick them out.”

Adam held onto the plant’s first true leaves – the ones that appear after the baby leaves.

The gardening expert said you need to make sure you don’t hold onto the stem and damage it.

He then made a hole in the pot and lowered the roots of the small plant in.

Once they’re all pricked out, they will go in a cold frame and will be ready to plant out next spring.

Other self-seeding plants you can grow are lady’s mantle, granny’s bonnet, geranium pratense and forget-me-nots.

Gardeners’ World airs tonight at 8.30pm on BBC Two.

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