Welcome to the SLH Sunflower Growing Competition!

Send us your photos of the tallest sunflower plant, the biggest sunflower head, and the plant with the most sunflower heads. Take a photo with a tape measure by the side, and send them to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts or to growing@slheatons.org. The closing date for the competition is 31 August 2021.

Your seed pack

There are three categories for the competition: tallest, largest head and most blooms on a stalk.  Your seeds will therefore look quite different to each other. We have tried to make sure that every household has at least two different types of seed from the range below:


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How to plant your sunflower seeds

Your sunflowers need to be planted in April — and the sooner the better so that you can take part in our growing competition! Don’t worry if you have missed the competition. Getting the seeds planted asap means that you can still have beautiful sunflowers.

The seeds can be planted directly into the soil outside but you can give them an advantage over the slugs by starting them indoors or in a greenhouse. Follow our simple guide below for planting in a pot or check out our video guide.

Before you start, you will need: 

One 10-cm pot per seed. Want make your own pots? Check out our how to guide here. We’ve also added a video guide to our YouTube channel.

Newspaper to protect the surface you are working on

Peat-free compost

Sunflower seeds

Plant labels. Want to make your own labels? Check out out how to guide here. We’ve also added a video guide to our YouTube channel.

Pens to write the names of your sunflowers

A watering device

Planting the seeds

1Fill 3/4 of the pot with compost. Give the pot a little shake to make sure that the compost settles and press it down gently.  Go to our guide to find out how to make a pot using newspaper.
2Create a small hole in the middle of the compost, then add one seed per pot.
3Cover the seed with approx. one centimetre of compost.
4Place your pot on a tray or plate. Label your pot and water it thoroughly. Make sure that all of the compost is moist. Go to our guide to find out how to make your own label.
5Place the pots on a sunny window sill and watch the seeds start to germinate. Remember to turn the pots daily or the sunflowers will bend in the direction of the sun as they grow. Also check the compost every day to make sure that it is moist but not drowning while the sunflower seeds are growing.

In May or June (depending on when you planted your seeds), your sunflower seedlings will need to be planted in the garden or in a larger pot outside. Visit our page here about how to plant out your sunflower seedlings.  If you have the space, plant your sunflowers in your front garden or somewhere that they will be visible to people passing your house so that everyone can benefit from the Heatons in colour this summer. 

If you are planting sunflowers with kids, check out the BBC Bitesize article “The lifecycle of a plant” to learn how sunflowers germinate and grow.