This season was the third I have grown Cosmos ‘Pied Piper’ in the cutting garden and I have become very fond of it and look forward to it’s flamboyant arrival next season. ‘Pied Piper’ is truly the Marc Bolan of the cutting patch, flouncy, talented and handsome, in a ‘you look ridiculous’ sort of a way.
I presently grow and recommend four Cosmos for your flower patch, all are easy to grow from seed. ‘Purity’, ‘Sensation’, ‘Candystripe’ and ‘Pied Piper’….all have their charm…the classic and the contemporary. ‘Oh ambassador how you spoil us….’
Cosmos ‘Pied Piper’ is a sea shell style in that it has unusual fluted petals, these petals are a King Crimson red….very very rock and roll.
“How Do I Grow Cosmos, Mr H?” (FAQ)
*I make at least two sowings…often more. The first is indoors at the beginning of April. I sow in modules, preferring the ones that have 15 modules to a standard size seed tray. I NEVER pot seedings up from small modules to bigger pots…why make more work for yourself….start in reasonable size modules…less work…more time for surfing dude!
*The second sowing I make outside and not until the frosts have gone gone gone….one bit of frost and it’s curtains for our flowery ladies…ensure your soil is weed free and down to a fine tilth. I sow in straight lines using a taught piece of string to guide me.
*JUST cover the seeds…don’t bury the little gems too deep.
*Keep the soil moist whilst they are finding their feet and talking amongst themselves about the pros and cons of germinating.
*Like most of my flowers I space them to about a foot apart.
*The seedlings I have grown inside need to be acclimatised to the outside temperatures…so leave them outside during the day for a week or so and I put mine outside around May 15th…though now I reside in Cornwall this date may be brought forward. Check your local ten day weather forecast…if temps look low at night…simply hold yer horses…as Granny Fishcake used to say, “Many a muckle makes a mockle’…or something like that.
* Try ‘pinching’ out your Cosmos for bushier plants…I pinch about half of mine…when the seedlings have three pairs of leaves, pinch out the tips, leaving at least one pair of leaves…
*Dead head…or pick newly open flowers for the vase and your plants will provide you with new flowers…failing to do this will send a chemical message to the plant’s mother ship and she will ‘go to seed’ and slow down her flower making factory.
*No need to feed Cosmos…if you do you are in danger of getting lots of green growth and few flowers.
If you want to try growing a more unusual Cosmos…then ‘Pied Piper’ is your man.
I always recommend lots of Cosmos in the cutting patch…they are easy to grow and produce buckets full of flowers ALL summer long …fill yer boots. :)