Family Gardening: Growing Sunflowers
Sunflowers are colorful giants and are one of the first flowers many children will recognize. A sunflower-growing competition appeals to any age of gardener.
Step 1: Fill Biodegradable Pots with Seed Compost
Fill a 3½ in (9 cm) pot with seed compost. Biodegradable pots, such as those made from coir fibers, are particularly useful as they can be planted directly into the ground, but seedlings will do just as well when grown in plastic pots.
Step 2: Plant Seeds
Plant one seed per pot, pushing it just below the surface. Sow in spring indoors or in a heated greenhouse. Seeds can also be planted directly into the ground in late spring and early summer, but for the largest plants, start early.
Step 3: Keep Well Watered
Once the seeds have germinated, keep the plants well watered. If you have started early, you may need to transplant into a larger pot while the plant is still indoors, in order to keep it growing strongly.
Step 4: Repot or Plant in the Ground
Pot your seedling into a larger pot or out into the ground when roots start showing through the bottom of the pot. When all danger of frost has passed, plant into ground that has been prepared with plenty of garden compost.
Step 5: Tip for Success: Brace with Bamboo
As your sunflowers grow, tie the plants to bamboo canes to stop them from being blown over. Water them regularly and, for the best results, give the plants a regular feed.