The title hardy annual as applied to many of our summer flowering plants is a misnomer, for those that can be sown out of doors and come to perfection before frost touches them are very few. Many plants that are perennials we treat as annuals, growing them but one year and finding it more profitable to raise a new crop from seed each year; primula, cineraria, etc.
The few annuals that can be sown out of doors, such as candytuft, mignonette, poppy, eschscholzia, etc., should be sown as soon as possible after the ground is dry enough to work. For the ornamental garden these are best sown in small patches, say eighteen inches across. Level and make fine the surface of the soil, sow thinly and cover the seed by finely raking the surface a few times, stamping down with the rake.
The commercial man who wants rows of these annuals should always sow in drills. For small seeds the corner of the rake will make a drill one-half to three-quarters of an inch deep. After sowing, hold the rake in a perpendicular position and as you walk along beat the surface of the drill; that will sufficiently cover the drill. If your ground does not bake after a watering you can water the drills. If it does bake, as is usually the case, it is better to trust to the spring rains.
When any of these summer annuals are grown for cutting flowers from, always sow in drills fifteen or eighteen inches apart so the hand cultivator can be used, as it saves much labor.