Grab your seeds, trowels & pots, it's time to plant your sunflowers!

Its time to sow your sunflowers! Mid-April to the end of May is the perfect time to plant your sunflower seeds and with a bit of love and attention, your sunshine plant will flower in August. Here's all you need to know about planting & growing sunflowers...

Growing conditions

Sunflowers like to grow in full sun and in well-drained soil. Individual seed packets vary so make sure you read the instructions on the back before you start.

What to grow

You might want to choose a tall variety of sunflower such as 'American Giant', which can reach up to 4m tall, or a sunflower that is a little smaller such as 'Teddy Bear' (60-90cm) or 'Big Smile' (30cm).

What you need

  • Choose a packet of sunflower seeds - remember to look to see how tall it might grow
  • Gardening gloves
  • A rake
  • A trowel
  • Plant label & a pencil

How to grow

  • Sunflowers can be sown straight into the ground where they are going to flower, so make sure the space you are going to sow is weed free by using a trowel to remove the weeds.
  • Rake the soil to a fine tilth (a fine crumbly texture) and make some drills 12mm deep. Leave a10cm space between each seed.
  • Place the seed in carefully and cover them up with soil. Don't forget to water the seeds gently. As they grow, if the plants are crowded, thin them out to about 45cm apart leaving the strongest, tallest plants.
  • Be careful as slugs and snails like to eat the new shoots. You may want to protect the seedlings by cutting the top off a plastic bottle and placing it over your seedlings.
  • As your sunflower begins to grow taller than you, you will need to help support the stem. Place a cane near the stem, loosely tie the cane to the plant with string, this will help your sunflower stay tall in the sunshine and grow even bigger.
  • The only thing left to do is to watch your sunflower grow and grow and grow and grow...
 photo by sian   @coldatnight

photo by sian @coldatnight

Send us your photos so we can see your progress, and of course to show off your fully grown, giant sunflowers! Tag us @fforest on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter

Text is adapted form an article by The Royal Horticultural Society



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Alice Holden: How to start growing your own veg

'Cooking the food you've grown and sharing it: that's an emotional and creative thing to do.'

- Alice Holden

Alice single handedly set up the fforest garden that now flourishes year round back in 2008, during the 3 years she worked for us. With strong beliefs in permaculture and organic growing, the garden was designed to provide fresh produce for our kitchen.

We first met Alice when she called into fforest with her green fingers holding a basket of homegrown strawberries to sell. It wasn't so soon after that, that she started working for us at the farm. 

She built the raised beds, put up the poly tunnel, started the composting systems, planted and set the seeds in motion. Her preliminary work in our fforest vegetable garden started what has become a thriving patch, providing a great range of different edible flowers, herbs, fruit and veg that we use for many delicious suppers, events and occasions. It really is special to know that some of what's on your plate has been sown and grown just yards away.

In an article for the Guardian, Alice provides the basic knowledge to encourage everyone to start growing their own vegetables. Just like we needed a bit of help starting our veg patch, she can give you a hand with yours. 



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