- Sunflower seeds
- Containers or seed trays
- Potting compost
- Watering Can
- Plastic cover
Sunflowers are incredibly easy to grow and can give so much pleasure.
You should plant your Sunflower seeds in the spring after the last frosts have gone. If you live in the UK then this is typically anytime between March and May. If you want to get a head start and try for an early crop it is possible to plant them earlier than this indoors.
You can plant your sunflower seeds either directly in to the ground or in containers. You can also start them in small propagation trays, however you don’t want to leave them in these too long as the roots grow quickly and if they don’t get transplanted into larger pots shortly after they’ve sprouted it can stunt their long tap root and reduce their potential growth.
When planting in containers fill them with any commercial potting compost up to about half an inch from the top. You should then thoroughly soak the soil and make a hole about an inch deep with a pencil and drop 1 seed into your hole. It doesn’t matter which way up the seed is placed, it will right itself as soon as it starts growing.
You can cover the seeds with a plastic cover or cloche which will help to keep the soil and seeds warm and protect them from any pests fancying a snack on your newly forming sprouts. Ensure you keep the soil very moist, young seedlings like to be kept wet.
Within a couple of weeks you can remove any coverings and you should have some small green seedlings. If you planted them in seed trays you should now transplant them in to larger pots or in to the ground.
Use a small trowel to dig a small hole to place your seedling in. You should place the seedlings no closer than 12 inches apart to give their roots plenty of space to grow.
Soil & Fertiliser
Sunflowers will grow in any soil but you will get better results in a richer soil so it is good to mix in some fresh potting compost. If you desire, mixing in some slow release all purpose plant fertiliser can also give your crop a welcome boost and saves having to apply a regular feed. The soil needs to be loose enough for water to drain through but firm enough for the roots to get a secure grip so they don’t topple in the wind when fully grown.