Growing your Blooming West seeds at home
With your packet of seeds in hand, you’re now part of the Blooming West community! By planting your sunflower seeds, you will be helping to spread the joy of sunflowers across Rockbank, Aintree, Mount Atkinson and Thornhill Park (and beyond) one sunflower at a time.
These seeds are agricultural seeds so designed to be pest resistant and resilient. They grow to 1 metre or more (depending on conditions) which makes them a perfect height for a windy area like we have across this region!
These seeds are for planting only (don't eat them) as they are treated with a chemical to protect them from pests. Of course, after they have been growing for 6 weeks, they are perfectly safe if your chooks are interested in the plants.
Sunflower Planting Instructions
Choose a location that gets at least 6 hours of sun a day. If you can find a spot along a solid fence, this may give a little extra wind protection for your sunflowers.
Remove any weeds that are in the garden bed.
Plant the seeds just under the surface of the dirt (no more than 3cm deep). You can use a small stick to make the hole to drop each seed into. Plant about 10 seeds for every 1 metre by 1 metre area. For example, if your garden bed is 2 metres long and 50cm wide, plant 10 seeds spread out across the area. Store your seeds leftover seeds in a cool place until next year or pass them on to someone.
Regularly water your sunflowers, preferably in the morning. This is especially important when they are first establishing. If you have fairly good moisture in your soil or the sunflower seedlings are more than 50cm tall, then you can water them less often.
Keep an eye out for snails who might like the look of your young sunflowers!
Regularly remove weeds. If you want to make maintenance easier, spread up to 10cm of mulch across your garden. This will also help to keep the moisture in the soil.
If most of your sunflowers grow, you might like to thin them out. This means taking some of the weaker ones out of the garden to make room for the stronger ones. This will give those ones more space and sun to grow..
It might look like nothing is happening at first because the sunflower seed will be working hard to develop its root system during the first week or two. When the sunflower seedling first sprouts you will probably notice just two leaves. Don't mistake it for a weed :)
If your sunflower is tall or in a windy area, you may need to stake it. You can use a stick or the fence as support for your sunflowers.
Overall, it takes about 12 weeks for your sunflowers to be in full bloom. Remember that the heads of the sunflowers will be following the sun so think about the way that the flowers will be facing so that you get to see and enjoy their sunny faces.
Still confused? Check out some information online including youtube clips that can give you more tips for success.
Please make sure you take photos of the process and share them with us.