A. SOIL PREPARATION Put ample amount of soil to your chosen pot. Don’t forget to leave about a quarter of an inch or so of empty space in between the surface of the soil and rim of the pot to ensure proper growth. Press the mixture slightly to eliminate stubborn air pockets. Drench the mixture with water so it’s ready to provide the right environment for seeds to germinate.
B. SOW. Drop at least 1-2 seeds into the pot. Cover them lightly with some soil at least 3-6mm deep. Water the pot very lightly to ensure good seed–to-mix contact.
C. SEAL & NURTURE. Leaving the pot completely open will allow too much heat as well as allowing moisture to escape, this may cause fewer germination or no germination at all. To prevent this, look for a clear plastic kitchen wrap and spray it with some water. Be sure that the moist side of the plastic will sit above the soil. Go ahead and secure the plastic (moist side inside) with a rubber band, acting as the pot’s lid. This will help it to retain the moisture that the seeds need to germinate properly. Twice daily, remove the wrap and sprinkle the pot with some water especially when it’s hot.
A. TIME TO UNVEIL THEM. Remove the plastic wrap when the sprouts start to emerge (around 6-12 days after step 1). When you see the first green tendrils (tiny stems) push up through the soil, you can then remove the wrap. Germination is over, now the second stage starts. It’s called vegetative stage. In this stage leaves will form and it will gradually grow. You need to keep the soil moist to aid the growing plant. You may water it very lightly at least two times daily preferably in the morning and late afternoon to maintain its moisture.
B. THINNING. Thin seedlings after they get their second sets of leaves. Pull out the weakest seedlings (Note: perform thinning after the emergence of the true leaves- 4th leaf), for the strongest, healthiest plants you'll want just one seedling per pot. Discard plucked out seedlings or you can try to transplant them into different pots, but you risk damaging the roots of the plant, which can adversely affect its rate of survival.
A. HYDRATION & SUN EXPOSURE. Because the potting mix in a pot dries quickly; you will need to water oh so frequently. (Check by sticking your finger into the soil. If it feels dry an inch beneath the surface, it’s time to water.) Keep the soil damp but not soaked. When the plants have begun to sprout, they will need to be watered regularly but the soil should be allowed to dry out between watering.
Sunflowers grown in cool, damp conditions are likely to develop problems with mold, mildew and fungus. These problems can be avoided by removing old, dead plant material from the containers at the end of the growing season, and BY KEEPING PLANTS IN FULL SUN.
B. FERTILIZATION. That frequent watering tends to wash out nutrients from the pot’s soil, as well as some of it was already acquired by the plant so you will need to replenish it with fertilizer. Start to fertilize 14-21 days after emergence of sprout and every 15 days. Sprinkle at least 5-10 pcs of DURABLOOM Pellets to the soil for its nutrients requirements. You can crush the pellet and sprinkle indirectly around the sunflower for faster absorption. (Note: not a single bit of nutrient will ever reach the plant system if not carried out by water) it is a must that you water the pot after fertilizer application or apply it before you do your watering.You can also enhance the sunflower development by giving it direct nutrients, dilute ½ teaspoon of DURABLOOM Foliar in 2Litres of water and spray it to the leaves of the plant. This will boost root development and ensure that the plant will utilize all nutrients available in the potting media. You can do this once a week.
A. DISEASE PREVENTION AND PEST MANAGEMENT. Watch for pests and molds. Birds will show interest in the seeds. You’re lucky because Sunflowers are relatively insect-free but please be watchfull for snails and slugs. Small gray moth sometimes lays its eggs in the blossoms, when this happens please have the courage to pick the worms from the plants to prevent further damage. Downy mildew, rust, and powdery mildew (Amag) can also affect the plants. If fungal diseases are spotted early, spray with your trusted over-the-counter fungicides.
B. PRUNING AND SEEDS HARVESTING. To harvest seeds, keep an eye out for ripeness. The back of the flower head will turn from green to yellow and the bracts will begin to dry and turn brown; this happens about 30 to 45 days after bloom and seed moisture is about 35%. Generally, when the head turns brown on the back, seeds are usually ready for harvest. Cut the head off the plant (about 4 inches below the flower head) and remove the seeds with your fingers or a fork. To protect the seeds from birds, you can cover the flowers with a light fabric such as cheesecloth and a rubber band. Or, you can cut the flower head early and hang the heads upside down until they seeds are dry; hang indoors or in a place that's safe from birds and mice. You can then plant the harvested seeds and grow MORE SUNFLOWERS. :)