Kids Go Gardening - how to grow sunflowers

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Plant a little seed now and watch it grow into a beautiful sunshine flower that's taller than you!  Of all the flowers we can grow from seed, sunflowers are the most fun. They grow super fast and they can have flowers as big as dinner plates!

There are lots of different kinds of sunflowers, even dwarf ones which are perfect for growing in pots. All are easy to grow from seed and it’s time to plant them now!

How to grow sunflowers

  • Choose a sunny patch of soil and give it a good water the day before you plant.
  • If you are growing tall sunflowers, place stakes in the ground about 40cm apart. This will stop them blowing over in the wind.
  • Beside each stake, sow seeds about 1cm deep or the depth recommended on the packet. Hint: If you have plenty of seeds, sow in pairs and pull out the weakest when they start to grow.
  • Water enough to keep the soil moist (not wet).
  • Feed and water your plants as they grow and tie them gently to their stakes with stretchy ties (you can make these by cutting up old socks or undies).

Tips:

  • Because they grow so fast sunflowers need plenty of food and water.
  • Before you plant mix some compost into the soil.
  • When they start to grow, feed them with liquid fertiliser or worm wees from your worm farm.
  • Sunflowers don’t like being moved. If you sow the seed in pots transplant them into the garden before they get too big, or start them off in peat pots (or make biodegradable pots from empty toilet rolls) so you can plant them in the ground pot-and-all.
  • You may want to cover your seeds to prevent birds and mice eating them.

Sunflowers love:

  • Sun
  • Food
  • Water

Fun facts:

  • Sunflowers attract good bugs such as lacewings, which eat aphids and other pests.
  • The tallest ever recorded was 7 metres!
  • Sunflowers will turn to face the sun.
  • In the centre of each sunflower are hundreds of seeds (sometimes up to 1000!), which birds love to eat. They’re a healthy snack for humans too – delicious roasted!

Grow a summer hideaway!

Tall plants like sunflowers, beans and corn make fantastic huts. Sow some seed today and before school goes back after Christmas you’ll have a fantastic spot to keep cool on a hot day, read a book or hang out with your best friend.

Sow your seeds in a circle or a square, with enough room in the middle to sit and play. Then water, feed and watch your hut grow!! Use stakes for sunflowers or beans. Corn will support itself – and you can even use corn as a support for sunflowers or beans. Lay straw to make a cosy floor in your hut, and to stop weeds from growing.



30-Oct-2014

 

Sunflower