Sunflowers are bright vibrant flowers that are very easy to grow, making them a perfect project for little green thumbs. As their name suggests, they require a spot with plenty of sunshine so make sure your raised garden bed is placed on a flat surface that will get all-day sun.
Things you’ll need
Prepared soil and sunny location
Compost or manure
1. Select sunflower seeds. For our My First Garden raised garden beds we’d recommend the ‘music box’ or ‘miniatures’ variety; these grow up to 70cm. They come in creams and yellow, which you can mix together.
2. Prepare your seeds. It’s a good idea to soak the sunflower seeds in some warm water the night before planting them.
3. Plant the seeds in your garden bed. The sunflower seeds should be planted at 15 cm apart at a depth of 5cm. We recommend planting about 3-4 seeds diagonally across your garden bed, or 2 seeds lengthways across your garden bed.
4. Water generously. Be careful not to overwater your sunflowers as they grow or they will eventually die.
5. Watch. Baby sunflowers will pop up about 1-2 weeks after planting. Keep the seedling area weed free and keep watering lightly but regularly. Other than that, they should not need much maintenance and should grow quickly, taking about 90 days to reach maturity.
6. Stake if necessary. Consider staking the sunflowers to help them grow taller and survive wind and prevent them from being knocked over.
7. Enjoy your sunflowers! You may even be able to harvest their seeds. They will fall from the flower head when ripe if you snip off the flower head and gently wipe it across a clean cloth.
The soil you use should be well drained, yet kept evenly moist.
Fertilise your soil every two weeks with ½ strength liquid organic fertiliser.
If you have birds picking the seeds out, place a screen over the seeds to prevent this.