Tag Archives: garden

Sunflowers 2008

After last year’s slugfest that defeated my sunflower-growing attempts, I tried again. Sadly, the ‘moulin rouge’ sunflowers were not to be either. I tried my cunning plan of putting cardboard tubes around them but a number of factors (clumsy planting out, unwilling seedlings, slugs) conspired against them.

Fortunately, I’d bought some back-up seeds, so I tried those. This time, I kept them in pots for longer, outside on the garden table where they got the sun but slugs couldn’t reach. Here are the two that survived long enough to be replanted into a bigger pot (actually three made it to this pot but one shrivelled and died quickly):

Successful sunflowers in 2008

The tallest of the two is now a respectable 119cm tall (from soil level to flower).

Sunflowers

Last year, I attempted to grow sunflowers for the first time. Blue Peter always encouraged me to grow them as a child but I never did. So, last Spring, I bought some seeds and planted them in little pots. They all germinated nicely so, just before we went on holiday in May/June, I planted them out in the garden. Unfortunately, in under three days, the slugs had eaten them all. I was devasted for about a day then started plotting how to beat the slugs next year.

So, this Spring, I’ve started collecting toilet roll tubes (also in the spirit of Blue Peter) so that I can stick them in the ground around my small sunflower seedlings when I first plant them out. Hopefully, that’ll fool those pesky slugs.

In the meantime, I’ve bought a couple of packets of seeds (hoping that if one is so tasty that the toilet roll tubes fail to foil the crafty slugs, I can try again). I’ve planted the first packet into small pots on the windowsill and the first few seeds have germinated nicely:

That’s despite me mixing in too much of the water-saving crystals with the compost so that every time I water them, the soil expands so much that it starts to climb out of the pots!

I’m hoping these ones work because I want to see what they come out like. They’re not your usual yellow sunflowers. They’re a species called ‘Moulin Rouge’ and the heads are a dark red instead of yellow. If they work, I’ll post a photo here. 🙂