Gardeners World episode 22 2002: Alan Titchmarsh and Gardeners World team present seasonal highlights from across the country, visit stunning gardens, meet the gardeners and find out their secrets of success.
Gardening show packed with good ideas, tips, advice from experts and timely reminders to get the most out of your garden, whatever its size or type.
Gardeners World episode 22 2002
How to grow Sunflower
Sunflowers can be sown straight in to the ground where they are going to flower, so make sure the space you are going to sow is weed free, by using a trowel to remove the weeds. Rake the soil to a fine tilth (a fine crumbly texture) and make some drills 12mm deep. Leave a 10cm space between each seed. Place the seed in carefully and cover them up with soil. Don’t forget to water the seeds gently. As they grow, if the plants are crowded, then thin them out to about 45cm apart leaving the strongest, tallest plants.
Be careful, as slugs and snails like to eat the new shoots. You may like to protect the seedlings by cutting the top off a plastic bottle and placing it over your seedlings. As your sunflower begins to grow taller than you, you will need to help support the stem, by placing a cane near the stem and loosely tying the cane to the plant with string. Watch your sunflower grow and grow and grow.
Both the perennial Cosmos atrosanguineus and the annual cosmos are upright plants, making excellent additions to a summer border. The annuals are particularly effective when massed and provide flowers for cutting over a period of months. Annual comos are easily grown from seed.
Annuals and biennials are fast-growing plants that flower prolifically over a long period. Cheap and cheerful, they are easy to grow from seed in large quantities, to fill borders, patio containers and hanging baskets with colour.
Hardy annuals can be sown or planted outside in spring or autumn, as they can survive frost. Autumn sowings will flower earlier.Half-hardy or tender annuals, which can’t tolerate cold weather, are mostly sown indoors in spring, to be planted outside after the last frost. Those which flower quickly from seed, are also successful when sown outdoors in early summer. Hardy biennials are usually sown in summer. Young plants can be planted outside in autumn or spring.
Most annuals and biennials don’t need additional feeding when growing in borders. But to boost flowering, especially with bedding plants and those in containers, you could apply a potassium-rich liquid fertiliser, such as tomato feed, every couple of weeks. See our guide to fertilisers.
You can also add slow-release fertiliser to the compost when planting up containers with bedding, to maximise flowering. See our guide to planting up containers.