Sunflower seeds are best grown outdoors sown directly into a prepared seed bed, but to get the best out of them they will need to be planted into a nutrient rich soil, so add plenty of well-rotted farm manure  prior to sowing.Avoid planting into light sandy soils as they can be prone to blowing over in strong winds.

If you want to get a head start on the year then begin by planting your sunflowers indoors about 6 weeks before the end of late frosts is expected. Using 3 inch pots containing a good quality seed compost, plant two seeds per pot. Cover the seed with ½ an inch of compost and water so that the compost remains damp. After a week the seedlings can be thinned out to strongest specimen.

Sunflowers can tolerate a certain amount of shade such as an east facing border, however they will always perform at their best in full sun.

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