Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Spring: Sowing Sunflower Seeds

What better way to welcome spring than to sow some seeds? And what better seeds to sow that sunflowers? I love them! They are a sunny, happy flower which kids of all ages will love to get involved with and it's always fun to add a bit of healthy competition into the mix with 'Who can grow the tallest?'

The best time to plant sunflowers is just after the last frost of the season if planting straight into the garden or anytime around now (March) if planting in pots.

We have done both just to see which do best as the worst of the weather seems to be over with.

For planting straight into the garden choose a very sunny spot and somewhere close to somewhere to tie it to when it gets tall, like a fence.

There are many different types of sunflower but for maximum competition potential we chose the giant sunflower and for maximum prettiness and colour the red sunflower!
Into Pots
Gather your pots. These can be anything from shop bought ones to old yoghurt pots (just make sure you add holes in the bottom for water drainage) 

Fill 3/4's full with soil.

Add your seed

Cover the seed and fill the last 1/4 of the pot with soil

Water. These ones were watered A LOT! Seemed to be the favourite part.

We have hung ours in the greenhouse to propagate
But if you don't have a greenhouse they will be fine on the windowsill or patio.

You could even use an old bottle, cut in half with the seed & soil in the bottom half and the top bit placed back on top for the same effect as a greenhouse.
Once the seeds have grown to a few cm and the last frost has thawed you can transfer them into the garden.

In the garden
At risk of late season frost or creepy crawlies but a super duper easy method.
Dig a 5cm hole, place the seed in and cover with soil.
Water and done! 
To minimise the risk of attack you could pop over half an empty pop bottle like above.

It is the kids responsibility to water them every evening and when they start to get tall to tie the back. We are going to watch them each grow and see how tall they get, which grows the biggest flower head, how the heads track the sun and what wildlife they attract, taking lots of photo's along the way. 

To track our learning along the way we are going to make little sunflower journals, as seen at Red Ted Art who has also planted seeds this week and made some fab mini garden journals to record their findings. To find out how to make yours, head on over!

The great thing about sunflowers is that our journey doesn't end with the summer. Once the heads are brown we will cut them down and hang them to dry so we can gather the seeds up for planting next year. We can also use some for roasting to snack on or bird food!

We'll keep you updated with how we get on!!!!


  1. Yay! So pleased you will make some mini journals! You could write how big it gets every two weeks or so and draw lots of pretty sunflower pictures... ooh I think I want a mini journal now JUST for sunflowers... will discuss with my son ;-)

    Thanks for the mention! And have fun growing!


  2. (PS Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty!)
    Maggy & Alissa

  3. The post reads so well, I am very lapse with my gardening and the orphan lambs are camping out in my green house but this post makes me want to run out and buy some sunflower seeds and keep a journal with the kids! Thanks for sharing with Country Kids

  4. Thanks for the instructions! We planted some sunflower seeds in pots the other day and they've started to grow (yay!) but I wasn't sure what to do with them when they got bigger! Think we'll move them into bigger pots and keep them indoors for a bit until it's definitely summer.


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