Flowers are natural mood boosters, they brighten our homes, cheer us up and have even been proven to reduce stress. Here at A Hume, we are of the opinion that the brightest and cheeriest of all flowers is the sunflower. To spread the happiness that sunflowers bring we have been sneaking some sunflower seeds into some of the parcels heading to our customers homes.
Although relatively easy to grow, the sowing season for sunflowers is almost at an end and we want your sunflowers to grow tall and strong, so we are going to give away some hints and tips on how to grow sunflowers.
Did you know: Sunflowers are the only flower with the word “flower” in their name.
Sunflower Seeds Sown in Seed Trays & Pots
Sunflowers can be sown in pots or seed trays in the home, so you don’t need any outdoor garden space. You can use a seed tray or small pots to begin with or you can recycle some used and cleaned yoghurt pots, tins or plastic bottles. Remember to pierce holes in the bottom so that the water can drain away.
- Fill your seed tray or pot with multipurpose compost to around 1cm from the top. Use peat free, multipurpose compost. If you want to get more specific a peat free, multipurpose compost or soils that are slightly acidic to alkaline work best (pH 6.0 to 7.5).
- Add one seed per pot and push down gently into the compost and cover with compost to the top and water. If you are using a seed tray spread seeds approximately 5cm apart.
- Cover with a clear plastic bag or cut the top off a clear plastic bottle and place over the pot/tray.
- Position in a bright spot, a windowsill is the perfect location.
- Once germinated to 5cm seedlings can be moved into individual pots.
- Add a small amount of multipurpose compost into each pot and carefully remove the seedling from the tray and place into the pot. If you are struggling to get the seedling out of the seed tray use a blunt knife to gently loosen them. Fill with compost and then gently push down to compact and secure the seedling.
- Water well and position in a warm, sunny spot.
- Once they have reached around 30cm in height plant them in the garden or into a bigger pot.
Top Tip: Regularly water your sunflowers as this will encourage growth, particularly as they get taller and start to flower.
Sunflower Seeds Sown Straight Into the Ground
Find a well-drained, sunlit spot to plant your sunflower seeds outside, keeping them away from other plants such as potatoes as they can inhibit their growth.
- Remove all weeds and rake the soil to a fine crumbly texture.
- Dig small trenches around 2 ½ cm deep and leav a 10cm space between each seed, in very fine soil plant seeds 5cm deep.
- Place one seed per trench, cover carefully with soil and give them a good water.
- Protect your seeds from slugs and snails with plastic bottle cut offs.
- Keep them well watered until they start to sprout.
- When the first leaves appear spread them out to 1m apart.
- As they start to grow you can loosely tie them to stakes or canes to help protect them from any unexpected summer winds or rain.
Top Tip: Sunflowers don’t require fertilising but you can spread 5 – 10cm of organic matter on the soil. This will reduce any moisture loss and discourage weeds.
We hope you find these tips useful and that your sunflowers will grow bright and tall. We would love to see your photos of how your sunflowers are growing so please tag us in them on our social channels using #takemehome.