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Show your support for Ukraine by growing a Sunflower

We have teamed up with the Daily Express to offer their readers a free packet of Mr Fothergill’s Giant Single Sunflower seeds, as we show our support for Ukraine, with their national flower  

Starting early is key, so sow your seeds as soon as you can and get them planted outside at the earliest possible opportunity after frosts have passed ensure you water regularly (twice a day in hot conditions) and support your plants with sturdy canes so they stand tall and straight

And don’t forget to keep a record so you can compare with your friends and family


What you’ll need: 

  • 9cm plant pots 
  • Sunflower seeds 
  • Peat-free compost 
  • General fertiliser chicken manure pellets 
  • Wooden plant labels 
  • Hand trowel 
  • Bamboo canes 
  • Watering can 
  • Gardening gloves 

How to grow a Sunflower

Growing Sunflowers from seed couldn’t be easier the seeds are large and they germinate quickly meaning you can get quick returns for little effort start seeds off on a bright windowsill planting outside after the last spring frosts


1) First fill a few 9cm plant pots with good quality peat-free compost and use your finger or a blunt stick to make a hole in the middle of each 


2) Plant a Sunflower seed in each hole, positioning the seed on its side, then cover with peat-free compost and firm gently


3) Water them well to start them off and make sure you keep the compost moist as the seedlings grow

4) Keep them indoors on a bright sunny windowsill to protect them from the cold, pushing a bamboo cane into each pot to support them as they grow taller


5) Once all frosts have passed, plant them outside in a sunny spot a handful of plant food mixed into the soil will give your sunflowers an extra growing boost 


6) Measure their height every two weeks, keeping a growing chart to see which sunflowers are growing the fastest the winner is the one whose sunflower has grown the tallest by summer! 


Top tip: List the different insects that you see visiting your sunny flowers look out for bees and butterflies in summer and garden birds feasting on the seeds in autumn