How to Sow and Grow your own Sunflowers and Marigolds

How to sow grow your own sunflowers and marigolds

It is almost half a century (time flies) since I tried to grow flowers or tomatoes in a pot from seed to final product. Back then we used those plastic trays with wet cotton wool and seeds neatly placed in long straight lines. After a few days, by some miracle, a tiny leaf would pop up – and then I don’t remember what happened after that. So here’s trying to sow and grow my own sunflowers and marigolds…

The other day at Homebase looking for soil (we pay for that here in the big city) for my snake plants, there right next to me was the section with lots of different seeds. Let’s have another go, I thought, and came home with sachets of sunflower, daisy, marigold and tomato seeds, plus bags of “high tech” soil which I hope has improved considerably over the years to help my seeds along.

How to sow and grow your own sunflowers and marigolds – the experiment

And I got some gloves, too, green of course, to spare the fingernails. It’s really worth getting some gloves – I’m not one who frequents nail bars often (ever!) and thought gloves would be an unnecessary expense. But wearing a pair of good quality gloves are a game changers. Tight fitting with rubber on the palm where you work the soil and plants and stretch material on the knuckle side of the hand are ideal. It’s a greater incentive to get planting when there’s not so much soil in your fingernail afterwards.

But no plastic trays this time. These days I’ll use my own, hand turned stoneware pots. Let’s see if they will deliver me the fabulous flowers and delicious tomatoes as advertised on the sachets. I don’t know why, but, as a real amateur, novice indoor gardener, I’m not holding my breath.

How to sow grow your own sunflowers and marigolds - Marigold seeds

It says on the small paper sachet explaining (not exactly) how to sow and grow your own sunflowers and marigolds that the seeds start by growing indoors, in a “cold frame”, that we should water well and keep the compost moist. So far so easy. And then it says to gradually accustom plants, once they’ve appeared, to outside conditions before planting out, some 30cm apart. That’s a big garden needed…. Well, I’m hoping it will add to my urban jungle indoors for some time….check also our post on how to create an outdoorsy vibe in your sitting room with garden furniture here.

First Shoots: The Marigolds are first to sprout…

Well, the flowers may have to stay with me indoors as there is no garden here, but the apartment is cold enough to always feel like early spring. Let’s see how it goes. If the seeds do as it says on the packaging, I’ll set them free eventually…

And I never! It’s been a week only and I’ve spotted the first four shoots through the soil this morning: one sunflower and three marigolds. Even though it says on the packaging that seedlings appear within 14-21 days. So far so triumphant….

Marigolds, also called Daisies, are not the prettiest flowers, but they are the nicest smelling ones, imo. Love the strong, spicey perfumery fragrance…a bit like Opium by Yves St Laurent 🙂 They appear en masse at the Holland Park flower garden in London’s Kensington area, as they did in the family garden of my childhood home. You can get them sent to your home via Amazon here: my absolute favourites

The tall sunflower isn’t incredibly beautiful either, but bold in its colouring and majestic. A large flower which makes quite a statement on the coffee table. And cheap to buy.

And then there are the tomatoes…nutricious and delicious and if they grow and develop there’s money saved on veggies and something achieved in the process… But, I’m really not counting on the tomatoes growing, not even in my favourite stoneware bowl.

Sow and Grow: it looks so easy on the Packaging…

But the packaging of flower and veggie seeds at my local DIY store make it look and sound so easy to grow your own and become a proper indoor gardener that you simply want to buy the whole lot. There’s colour coding on the outside telling you when to sow, how deep and how far apart the seeds, whether indoors or outdoors, and when they can be expected to start sprouting.

It’s sooo easy, it seems, and as my seeds have exceeded expectations by sprouting a week early, what could go wrong! Today it’s exactly seven days since I started (again, after nearly half a century!) and I’m keeping an eye on my pots of seeds as if they were my puppies.

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