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Well Kate, you can only do your best, but whether that will be enough to grow a sunflower taller than David and I only time will tell. And I think we'll have some competition out there too. As all our readers will be getting a free packet of sunflower seeds with their April issue, thousands are set to be sown over the coming weeks. Let's hope there's a Record Breaker among them! Good luck everyone.
Based on this inside information I am now well armed to beat you in the sunflower stakes, Ms Bradbury. My plans now include improving the soil with elephant dung, fixing up a 24hr sun lamp and planting my seedlings at the base of a 4m length of rainwater downpipe (to force them to grow up in search of the light!). Seriously though Kate, my last efforts at growing giant sunflowers were scuppered by marauding molluscs... I may come round and tip some over your wall if the competition gets serious!
Can't wait to get my seeds and start sowing. I don't envy your lack of sun, Kate. I've got a great spot at the side of my garage which gets sun for most of the day. Not sure if 8m is achievable, but there's only one way to find out.. Happy growing everyone, let the battle commence!
if i dont want to grow a giant,then what varieties can i sow that will produce those smaller types that are now commonly seen as cut flowers?


I got quite excited by the idea of growing a giant sunflower so searched my GW mag for the seeds - none. Searched the recycle bin -none but it could do with a good wash. Searched under the table - none but it could do with a good hoover. Searched under the settee in the conservatory - none but it could do with a good sweep out. So I won't be growing any giant sunflowers but I do have a cleaner house - thank you GW.
Arnos74 - depends where you live. Warm the soil using cloches beforehand, and sow after all risk of frost has passed. Make sure you protect seedlings from slugs and birds! gavtheblade - dwarf varieties include 'Sunspot', Music Box' and 'Elite Sun'. Kate
I grew Miusic Box a couple of years ago in the little bit of soil I have at the front of my house. Loads of people would stop to look at them & I got lots of comments on them. They're a great variety for small gardens. Talking of which, just how much room do you need to grow giant sunflowers? My garden is very small, but this sounds like a really fun & tempting opportunity. Will they grow in pots? If so I could place them near to the house as that's the best place in my garden for sun.
chrissie - my garden is tiny, you don't need loads of space. I'm growing one in a bucket roughly 40cm diameter, and the rest in the border. The bucket might not be big enough for a root system to sustain an 8m tall sunflower, but we'll see. It's all a big experiment!
Good luck everyone with growing giants, but I want the flowers where I can see them so I'll be pinching out my plants to make them smaller and bushier. It's way too windy for giants in my garden anyway!
Thanks, Kate. Will give mine a go in a bucket too. I can't wait to get started. Good luck everyone.
I shall be sorting mine tommorow and i do well with sunflowers so i am looking forward to the challenge..
Bought my copy of GW mag this morning with the giant sunflower seeds. Oooo! I'm all excited!! I'm off to sow them :)


I grew an average display of sunflowers in my garden my neighbour started screaming about the bees. To keep her quiet I cut them down, I then grew Shrubs inc Blackthorn Holly Dogrose all that you might see in a hedgerow. She is still screaming.
want to visit a garden shown on lasts years show cant remenber name just know a head gardener and wife brought acre size plot and dug it out creating ponds and valleys and a mexican theme garden area. doe any one know anything about this or the name?
I have tried to access the 2 for 1 offer for the Eden project by going to but the link does not work - can you help?
Taking on the challange on behalf of my inlaws. In their honour, l will do my best!! However, with my little experience. and experimental nature, I am going to try something new. Planting it in secret space, which doesn't suffer from an abundance of light. Where l hope this plant will be encouraged to reach for the sun. If this works then said flower will bob about, above the height of the house and below our feet on the walk way above. Dare say this method will not work. Especially as it will probably suffer some neglect, and not recieve as much T.L.C and commitment that seems to be required.
Hi,I have put some sweet pea seeds in a few weeks ago, and to my dismay they look so weedy slim tall bending over even tho i have sticks trying to hold them up. Can anyone help, Do they always look like this when growing , will they get to look more like sweet peas, or have i dont something wrong, or have i got a bad batch of seeds ????? HELP!