How to sow your free sunflower seeds – Six Months of Seeds

Grow stunning sunflowers from the free seed in our March 2021 subscriber edition of BBC Gardeners' World Magazine.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do not Sow in January

Do not Sow in February

Do Sow in March

Do Sow in April

Do Sow in May

Do not Sow in June

Do not Sow in July

Do not Sow in August

Do not Sow in September

Do not Sow in October

Do not Sow in November

Do not Sow in December

Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do not Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does not flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Cut back
Cut back

Do not Cut back in January

Do not Cut back in February

Do not Cut back in March

Do not Cut back in April

Do not Cut back in May

Do not Cut back in June

Do not Cut back in July

Do not Cut back in August

Do not Cut back in September

Do Cut back in October

Do Cut back in November

Do not Cut back in December

Few plants can match the ‘wow’ factor that sunflowers bring to beds, borders and allotments. Their giant, cheery ray flowers brighten even the cloudiest of days and they’re a big hit with pollinators, too. Then, later in the season, the seeds are a rich source of food for hungry birds.

Your March subscriber edition comes with a free double-pack of seeds of a wildflower Pollinator Mix and a sunflower Sunburst Mix from Mr Fothergill’s. The Sunburst Mix will produce a glorious mix of flowers in vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow.

Few plants can match the ‘wow’ factor that sunflowers bring to beds, borders and allotments. Their giant, cheery ray flowers brighten even the cloudiest of days and they’re a big hit with pollinators, too. Then, later in the season, the seeds are a rich source of food for hungry birds.

Your March subscriber edition comes with a free double-pack of seeds of a wildflower Pollinator Mix and a sunflower Sunburst Mix from Mr Fothergill’s. The Sunburst Mix will produce a glorious mix of flowers in vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow.

More on growing sunflowers

Follow our full sunflower Grow Guide and discover more gorgeous varieties to try, in our collection of March extras. Plus, save on further seed varieties and a cloche for protecting seedlings, with our subscriber-only offers.

Six Months of Seeds – March extras

Get the best possible results by following our step-by-step video sowing guide, below.

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You Will Need

  • Sunflower seeds
  • 7cm pots
  • 9cm pots
  • Multi-purpose compost
  • Pencil or dibber
  • Plant label
  • Watering can with rose attachment

Step 1

Pour multi-purpose compost into a small pot. Gently tamp it level to about 1cm below the rim, to leave room for watering.

Step 2

Push the seeds into the compost to a depth of around 1.5cm. Space them about 3cm apart from each other.

Step 3

Water using a small watering can with a rose, so the seeds are not dislodged.

Step 4

Pricking out: Gather your seedlings, some slight larger pots, fresh multi-purpose compost and a dibber. Fill one new pot with compost.

Step 5

Holding a seedling by a leaf, use the dibber to lever it out of the compost, taking care to bring all of the roots with it.

Step 6

Make a new hole for each seedling in the new pot, several centimetres apart, then lower in the seedlings. Firm in and water gently.

Step 7

Water well, using a watering can with a rose attachment.

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Coming up – more free seeds

April: Tomato and basil

April: Tomato and Basil - Six Months of Seeds
April: Tomato and basil – Six Months of Seeds

The taste of summer. Packs worth £4.80

  • Tomato ‘Red Cherry’ – heavy crops of small fruits with delicious, sweet fruits flavour. Can be grown outside or in an unheated greenhouse
  • Basil ‘Lettuce Leaf’ – this unusual basil bears enormous, frilly-edged leaves, which have a sweet aromatic flavour you can enjoy all summer long

May: Cosmos and carrot

May: Cosmos and Carrot - Six Months of Seeds
May: Cosmos and carrot – Six Months of Seeds

A couple of classics in this double pack worth £5

  • Cosmos ‘Purity’ – this much-loved favourite will give you a dazzling display of large white flowers right through summer. Also great for cut flowers
  • Carrot ‘Royal Chantenay 3’ – sow direct in the ground, or in containers. Kids will love growing and eating this fast-growing variety and the small, sweet roots are delicious cooked whole

June: Zinnia and cornflower

June: Zinnia and Cornflower - Six Months of Seeds
June: Zinnia and Cornflower – Six Months of Seeds

Get speedy results with this colourful couple, worth £4.80

  • Zinnia ‘Early Wonder’ – large dahlia-like blooms in a mix of showy, vibrant colours
  • Cornflower ‘Blue Ball’ – easy to grow, with masses of bee-friendly blooms, cornflowers are the perfect cottage garden flower

Few plants can match the ‘wow’ factor that sunflowers bring to beds, borders and allotments. Their giant, cheery ray flowers brighten even the cloudiest of days and they’re a big hit with pollinators, too. Then, later in the season, the seeds are a rich source of food for hungry birds.

Your March subscriber edition comes with a free double-pack of seeds of a wildflower Pollinator Mix and a sunflower Sunburst Mix from Mr Fothergill’s. The Sunburst Mix will produce a glorious mix of flowers in vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow.

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