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I am not a good gardener at all and despite my best efforts I just cannot enjoy gardening at all even though I like having lovely lillies and tulips in my garden and home grown veg during the summer months. More often than not I end up giving the seeds to my mum and she cultivates them and I just pop the plants in the ground when they're ready. This year however I wanted to do something with my son that was easy and that he could see growing, he loved doing the potatoes last year but they can't be seen and so instead I decided to go for sunflowers as they are generally an easy and hardy plant to grow. I remember doing these when I was a child and they would grow around 10 feet tall.
It started off with a voucher I received for doing a survey for a gardening website and I picked up a couple of 'Russian Giant' packets of seeds. The packet advises that these can grow up to 10ft boasting broad yellow flowers of up to 12in in diameter. The seeds can either be used as a snack, to feed the birds or to use for plantation the next year, our flowers aren't fully up yet so so far I haven't decided what we'll do with them. These flowers tend to bloom in the late summer after being sown in late spring to early summer.
You can plant these in any manner of container as long as there is drainage for the soil, I personally have little plant pots my mum gave me so I just use these. I simple add some regular compost (I bought mine from Asda, there are various outlets to buy compost but my mum has always used supermarkets brands and never had any problems and as I do my shopping in Asda it makes it easy to do this), pop the seed and cover with around 1/2 an inch of soil. After around 21 days the seeds should germinate and should then be transferred into the outside soil, I have mine next to the back fence so when the stalks become tall and are starting to get heavy they should be tied to either a cane (widely available in places such as B&Q) or as I do and tie with gardening string onto the fence to give it the strength it needs to grow nice and tall.
Once the flowers bloom they are exceptionally large and are great, especially for young children. It introduces them to growing and understanding how flowers and vegetables grow. I like that they are so large and striking whilst being relatively care free even for someone as terrible as I, I have yet to have a sunflower die on me. I would definitely recommend the 'Russian Giant' they produce lovely flowers with little effort and have a huge novelty factor, especially for children. Although they should be grown in the sun the patch I grow mine I find that although they don't grow as tall as they could I don't find it affects them too much and it isn't a full time sunny spot it is in the shade a lot.
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