Young Gardener's Activities for May!
Grow Your Own sunflowers!
Painted Rock Fruit and Vegetable Labels for your 'Grow Your Own' projects.
It's so much fun to grow Sunflowers and it's easy too! Why not make it a family competition, each member of the family plants a seed and you watch them grow up, up, up and the tallest wins a prize!
Sunflowers are a great sight in any garden, those big yellow faces smiling at you. Check the packet to see how tall the sunflowers will grow to make sure they are the right ones for your garden.
Did you know?
- The birds will feast on the sunflower seeds after flowering, so you're actually helping care for the amazing birds in your garden too!
- When you buy Sunflower seeds the packet may show their botanical name 'Helianthus Annuus' this is based on the Greek word 'Helios' means sun and Anthus means ‘flower’ so that's where the name sunflower comes from.
- Sunflowers also have varieties that are orange and dark red, not just yellow!
- Sunflowers take approximately 10 weeks to flower from being planted.
What you will need
- A packet of sunflower seeds
- A garden trowel
- Gardening gloves
- Plant label & pen/pencil (or see our idea below for our fun rock plant labels)
How & when to plant Sunflowers
- Sunflowers can be sown directly into the soil where you want them to grow from mid April - early May. They will take at least 10 weeks to grow a sunflower from planting a seed to the flower opening, they usually flower in August.
- Choose your spot in the garden using your trowel make sure its free of any weeds.
- Check the packet to see how far apart the seeds need to be to give each plant enough space. Make a hole about 1cm deep, pop in your seed and cover with soil and repeat.
- Once you have planted your seeds water them gently.
How to care for your Sunflowers
- Slugs and snails love to eat new shoots so take extra care of your seedlings, it is a good idea to protect them by cutting the top off a plastic bottle and placing it over your seedlings.
- Give them a drink of water, often
Enjoy watching your sunflowers grow up, up & up!
Make sure you measure them weekly, for a bit of fun comparing with friends and family!
Top Planting TIPS
Sunflowers love a sunny spot in the garden with well drained soil, the ideal spot is against a sunny wall. Planting against a wall means you can add support ties, when they get really tall they may need a bit of help to keep them standing up!
Get Crafting - Painted Rock Labels
We hope you are inspired to grow your own fruit and vegetables, so we have a great craft activity to help you remember what you planted where! It is important to label what you have planted and sown, as a lot of plants look similar as they are growing. Painting stones and using them to label what you are growing is not only useful, but a great craft project too!
You will need:
- A pencil
- A selection of stones/pebbles
- Acrylic paint
- PVA glue (for a hardwearing seal, you can use sprayable varnish alternatively)
- Wash your stones and set aside to dry.
- Using a pencil, sketch out your design.
- Paint your design, some lighter colours may need two coats.
- When the paint is completely dry, apply two layers of PVA glue and this will seal your rock art. Allow the glue to dry fully before adding another layer.
- Now arrange your stones in your veg patch, herb garden or patio containers. Not only is it clear what you are growing, but it adds colour and fun to your space too!