There are many benefits of gardening for the elderly and introducing easy to grow and care for flowering plants at this time of year can give a great deal of pleasure, thus helping boost mental and physical health through the activity.
Sunflowers are the perfect plant to grow to cheer up the garden, just imagine looking out of your window on a miserable day and seeing the beautiful yellow petals and big bold sunflower face smiling back at you.
As part of our ‘gardening grow how’ series and aim to get more people out into their gardens, we’ve put together some top sunflower growing tips.
Where to plant your sunflowers
Sunflowers are big lovers of sunshine. Pick a spot to sow your seeds that gets lots of sun, but is also sheltered from the wind, such as along a fence or the side of a house.
Ensure where you’re planting your sunflowers has sufficient drainage as waterlogging can delay a sunflower’s growth. Be especially careful if you’re planting into a container.
Seeds can be sown directly into the ground, but ensure where you’re planting them is free of any weeds. Loosen the soil until it has a fine, crumbly texture.
Dig holes half an inch deep, spaced 18 inches apart. Place a few seeds in each hole and cover with soil.
Water the area where you have planted the seeds but take care not to drench or flood the soil.
Water your sunflowers thoroughly every other day, but adjust this as needs be depending on the weather.
As your sunflowers grow you can use canes to help support the weight of the plant. This can be done by placing a cane near the stem and loosely tying it to the plant with string.
Two to three months after planting your seeds they should start to bloom.
If you haven’t already read all about the benefits of gardening for the elderly, you can do so here.