Top tips from Gardeners' World Magazine
Growing sunflowers is a fun way to get kids into gardening. They’re easy to plant, forgiving of the most inexperienced gardener and grow to jaw-dropping heights! Why not set up a competition with friends or family to see who can grow the tallest flower? You’ll have a head start with these top tips from Gardener’s World Magazine.
Planting sunflower seeds: Need to know
How to create an egg box planter
Simply fill the cups of an egg box with compost. You can use all 6 as a tray (and plant 6 seeds). Or, snip off however many you need.
TIP: If the wall between each pair of cups is shallow, keep them in pairs at this stage so you can add enough compost to each cup. You can snip them apart when you’re ready to move the seedlings to a bigger pot.
How to plant sunflower seeds
Step 1: Prepare the pot
Ask your child to fill the eggbox cups or a small pot with the compost. Tap the pot gently.
If you’re struggling to get hold of gardening supplies, Gardeners’ World Magazine has a handy list of suppliers that have stock and deliver.
Poke a hole in the soil with a finger – to approximately 1cm (or your child’s first finger joint.)
Step 2: Plant the seed
Ask your child to drop a seed into the hole – only use one seed per pot.
Ask them to cover the seed gently with some more compost and pat gently, as though they’re tucking it up in bed.
Step 3: Make a lolly stick plant label
Give your child pens and a lolly stick to draw or write the name of their plant on.
This is a good thing to get into the habit of doing. When you’re growing more than one type of seed, you need to remember what’s in each pot! Plus, kids love to personalise their seed projects.
If it’s cool where you live, you might want to try a homemade plastic bottle cloche to keep the seeds warm.
Step 4: Water the seed
Make sure the watering can has a rose attachment so you can gently water the newly potted seed. It’s best to help little kids. We had a few pot/seed casualties from over-enthusiastic watering!
Give them a small amount of water each day, don’t let them dry out.
Step 5: Move your seedlings to a bigger pot
The first shoots should begin to appear in one to two weeks. When they are a few inches tall, move them to a bigger pot filled with multi-purpose compost. If you’ve made an egg cup planter, you can plant it straight into the soil, where it’ll break down.
Once the shoots grow tall, tie the stalks to sticks using soft string.