Sunflowers can be sown indoors in a pot or sown outdoors directly into the soil. Here's how...
Indoors in a pot
Sowing your sunflowers indoors will allow the seedling to respond to the extra warmth and grow more quickly.
Use individual pots with drainage holes at the base (or use clean yoghurt pots with holes punched in the bottom). Fill the pots with compost, poke a small hole into the middle of the compost using your finger. Pop a seed or two into the hole and cover the hole over with the compost. Give the pots a good watering and place them on a windowsill or in the greenhouse, keeping them well watered.
When the seedling has grown to about 15cm in height, they are ready to plant outdoors into bare soil. Keep them well watered and feed weekly to encourage them to grow and stake where necessary.
Directly into the soil
If you'd like to learn how to sow sunflower seeds outdoors in Ireland, please see our outdoor sunflower sowing guide for all the information you need,
If you are sowing the seeds directly into the soil, ensure the area is free from weeds and grass. Make 12mm deep drills (holes), with 20cm between each seed. Place the seed in the hole and cover it with plenty of organic matter such as well-rotted manure or garden compost. Water the seeds gently, and keep watered until plants are fully established.
As the plants grow, thin the plants out to about 40cm apart if they are crowded, leaving the strongest, tallest plants.
To protect the seedlings from slugs and snails eating them, cut the top off a plastic bottle and place it over the seedling.
As the plant grows, you will need to support it with canes.