Free sunflower seeds to bring a little sunshine into your life

CHEER yourself up with a blooming marvellous giveaway from Morrisons.

Pop into a store or shop online at morrisons.com and you can pick up one of 2.5million free packets of dwarf sunflower seeds to grow on your window sill.

Morrisons’ campaign is called Seeds of Hope, capturing the nation’s mood as we begin to see light after lockdown. The supermarket chain – known for making good things happen in its community – hopes its free sunflower seeds will help bring smiles to the faces of shoppers and encourage us all to think positively.

They are perfect for us home gardeners to grow in borders, in containers on paved areas and in pots – they can grow up to 2ft tall!

And once you’ve got your seeds, here are a few tips from The Sun’s gardening editor, Peter Seabrook, to get your plants growing wonderfully.

Says Peter: “Your free Morrisons seeds may be called dwarf sunflowers but don’t be fooled – they can still grow up to 2ft tall! They are perfect for us home gardeners to grow in borders, in containers on paved areas and in pots, and they are guaranteed to bring some beautiful colour to your window sill.”

Let’s get growing

There are three ways to get started – or “germinating”, as gardeners say

  1. The easiest is to sow your seeds directly in the garden. You just need a patch of fertile, damp soil, ideally in full sun. Push the seed in and cover it with a centimetre of soil.
  2. Another way is to “chit” – or start the seeds – before potting. Line a plastic container with white tissue paper, moisten it, space some seeds out and secure the lid. Pop it somewhere warm and roots will emerge in two to three days. Kids can be impatient and they like to see things happen, so this is a good option for children. As soon as the root shows, pot it as below.
  3. If you want your flower to grow indoors, then it’s easy and fun. Just check out our handy video showing how you can make yourself a newspaper seedling pot. If you can’t bear to part with any pages of your copy of The Sun, then a great alternative is to use a yogurt pot with a hole in the bottom for drainage. Fill your pot with either seed compost or potting compost and pop a seed in. Keep them in the warm and they will be up in just a few days.

Up, up and away

The more fertile the soil, the better your sunflowers will grow. Select a nice sunny spot and, if possible, mix some well-rotted garden compost into the soil before planting. If you’re planting outside, keep an eye out for slugs – they love munching on the succulent leaves of young sunflowers. If you go out with a torch at dusk, when slugs and snails come out to feed, you can remove them from the flowers.

Dwarf sunflowers can be spaced about a foot (30cm) apart. Remember – the wider the spacing, the larger the plants are likely to grow. The same goes for pots: if you are going to grow your dwarf sunflowers on window sills, once they are established, transfer into a 13cm pot. The root restriction will reduce the flower’s overall size. Once well established, water them in dry weather and add the occasional diluted liquid feed.

Keep on blooming

If you sow a few of your seeds every two weeks from early April to June, you will get a succession of sunflowers blooming. This is especially useful for those varieties with one flower per plant. If your plant is multiheaded, deadhead (prune back) the first flower and the side ones will come out.

Finally, sit back and enjoy!

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