Growing Sunflowers

Sunflowers provide a big splash of yellow colour in a sunny garden and October is just the time to plant these shining beauties!

Sunflowers are great in the Australian climate because they are tough plants and tend to grow in pretty much any conditions as long as the soil isn’t overly moist.

They’re a great addition to a summer garden because they attract bees and birds, naturally encouraging a natural eco-system in your garden.

In cooler areas you should sow sunflowers well into spring, well after the last frost. In warmer regions, you can sow any time from late winter into late spring. You can sow sunflower seeds all year round in subtropical or tropical climates, but you do run the risk of fungal disease with humid summer weather.

Sunflowers. Bouquet

Sunflowers. Bouquet

Prepare your soil with a border fork and border spade to create a seed bed in your garden. Spread the seed by hand, broadcasting it, and the rake it into your prepared soil. You can also sow each seed to a 2cm depth, if you prefer.

Cover your seed bed with a light covering of straw, or lucerne hay which stops the seeds being consumed by birds and rodents.

Lightly water your sunflower seeds in the morning and allow about 12-16 weeks for flowers to appear.

For an organic approach to slug repellent, you can mix your own with one part espresso coffee and three parts water, spraying onto the seedlings and mulch. Repeat this process after heavy rain.