This is the moment of truth!The Sunflower Seed-heads were collected yesterday between 10am -12noon with 14 entries received. Thanks go to all members who submitted their ‘best’ specimen.The three largest seed-heads were – in order of largest first. 1st Gerard Simpson (Oswaldkirk) – Circumference 1001 millimetres (see photo below)2nd Eric Stainthorpe (Oswaldkirk) – Circumference 724 millimetres3rd Helen Dobson (Ampleforth) – Circumference 720 millimetres The £10 winners prize goes to Gerard Simpson
Editors Note – 1001 millimetres is just over 1 metre Gerard has not yet divulged his winning Sunflower Competition growing secrets but there is rumour that he has received offers from Gardeners World. Many thanks to Shirley and Andy Halliwell who helped yours truly with the measuring and to Lot Doucet who facilitated our event at the Ampleforth Village Hall environs plus coffee and biscuits. Members who entered the competition will receive a copy of the full list of entrants with the measurements of all submitted seed-heads in due course.
As we all start growing our giant sunflowers – helianthus giant single, here are some tips to get going.
Sow the seeds directly into the soil (well prepared of course!) in full sun. To get a really big plant, water and feed it regularly. Composted rabbit droppings are supposed to be the best feed, but Miraclegrow will probably do. You could win £10 for growing the one with the largest circumference.
We have no idea when we can hold our Plant Sale again, but let’s get started.
Divide clumps of herbaceous perennials that you want to propagate. Bamboos and clumps of bulbs or rhizomes can be divided in the same way. While cutting back clumps of spring-flowering perennials such as Pulmonaria and Doronicum to encourage a fresh flush of foliage, take a few cuttings.
Divide Primula (primroses) after flowering, planting them in a nursery bed until they are ready for planting out again in the autumn, for a display the following spring. Or grow some in pots.