Annual bedding plants are great in pots and window boxes, but they can also be planted straight into the summer border, where they offer a quick and colorful way to fill bare patches in new gardens.From towering giants to knee-high midgets, sunflowers are real crowd-pleasers, and always a hit with children.
When to plant: Spring.
At their best: Mid- to late summer.
Time to complete: 20 mins to sow; 20 mins to plant.
You will need: Sunflower seeds, 3 ½ in. (7 cm) pots, seed soil, garden stakes, string.
In spring, sow sunflower seeds indoors in a light, warm spot. Sow a single seed in each pot since they make large seedlings. Coir pots can be planted whole, straight into the soil.
Water seedlings regularly, and keep them indoors or in a warm greenhouse until mid-spring. Then put them outside during the day, bringing them indoors at night, to harden off.
Support young plants
Prepare a suitable area of soil outside, and once the risk of frost has passed, plant the sunflowers out into the garden. Their young stems bend easily, so tie them to short stakes. For extra big sunflowers, choose a large cultivar. Feed and water your plants all summer.