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Games for 3 - 5yrs Gardening in April - Sunflowers

Kids have very low boredom thresholds so it is important if you want them to be interested in something to make it exciting!!

When it comes to gardening kids (and myself) like instant gratification - for this reason sunflowers are fantastic to plant because they grow so fast and you can readily see the results of watering them.

They can be planted inside or outside from April, in composted soil.

Did you know... the record height for a sunflower is 7.76m high!!

See if you can beat it - do send us a picture so we can upload it to our website - Good Luck!!

Sunflowers will sprout in 1 week; they will have grown to be a small seedling within 2 weeks and. if they are still alive can be up to two feet tall in a month!

They are relatively easy to grow:

 

If you want to get started here’s what to do:

You can sow the seeds directly into the garden or start them off indoors – we tend to start them off indoors as it provides another step for excited little fingers.

The ideal container is a yoghurt pot – so wash a few up, you can let your children decorate them if they like, then fill with sowing compost (this can be bought from a garden center.

Put one seed in each pot – about 1 inch deep in the soil and add a little water.

Cover it with cling film to keep the heat in – we put a few holes in the cling film.

You can take the cling film off as soon as the seed starts to sprout.

Once the seedlings are large enough to handle you can transfer them outside.

All risk of frost should have passed (easier said than done in this country), and if possible let them acclimatize gradually to outdoor life – start by giving them a few hours outside each day, then a bit longer then try to plant them in a sunny area of the garden away from strong winds.

You will have to put a stake in as they get taller to keep them upright – these can be bought from garden centers.

They ideally need lots of sun and good drainage – if you have a heavy clay soil (a type of soil that stays muddy for days after it has rained) then try planting them in a large pot with some stones on the base then a more suitable soil around the plant.

When the second set of leaves appear they need feeding once a week for four weeks then once every two weeks thereafter.

You can make a chart to go on the wall with your little one to help them (and you) remember.

It might be an idea to grow a few extras, as it can be very upsetting for your child if it doesn’t work.

Sometimes the pigeons get stuck in and start eating them – another reason why starting off inside with yoghurt pots is a good idea.

 

Please do send us your photos so we can post them on our website!

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