2 April 2019
By Liam Jeffery

Sign up for Ted's Big Sunflower Competition!

Big Ted’s Sunflower Competition is well-underway and its not too late to get involved!

The deadline to enter is 1 June 2019 and all you need to do is email over a photo of your sunflowers ideally with a child or adult alongside to show the scale. Remember to state the name and town of your school and the name(s) of those in the picture, plus the age(s) of the child/children. Captions should read left to right. Send your sunflower photos to: charityteam@inspireschools.org.uk

If you need a packet of sunflower seeds complete the enquiry form and we’ll send you a packet. Please ensure to use a school email address so we know you are a representative of the school. Note: we have a limited supply so first come, first served. You will also receive a digital copy of the competition logo to use on the school’s website and newsletters.

The deadline to submit photographs is 23 September 2019, and there is no limit to the amount of photographs you submit!

What you could win

  • Selected photos of your school children and their sunflowers will be featured in the Phil and Ted Blog written on this website for Phil Gallagher – aka CBeebies’ Mister Maker
  • Winners will also go through to the annual Green School Awards for an extra chance at recognition.
  • The Education People will provide the winning school/setting with £500 worth of training for the tallest sunflower and £250 worth of training for the widest head

Tallest - £500 of any training courses including CPD Online central courses, E-learning and in-house training. Excluding bespoke training *

Widest head - £250 of any training courses including CPD Online central courses, E-learning and in-house training. Excluding bespoke training *

*bespoke training refers to any training delivered to a school or setting tailored to the needs of the group often planned with the school or setting

We can’t wait to see your sunflower photos!

How to grow a sunflower

Sew your sunflower seeds from mid-April to the end of May, in full sun in well drained soil.  It takes about 8 weeks for a sunflower plant to grow and flower from a seed.

Sunflower seeds can be sown either straight into the ground or into pots.

If you are sowing your seeds into the ground:

  • Remember to wear some gardening gloves
  • Make sure your soil is weed free
  • Poke your finger into the soil to make holes for your sunflower seeds, leaving about 10cm space between each hole
  • Carefully place a seed into each hole and then cover them with soil. Water the seeds gently
  • Your plants should pop up through the soil after about 1 or 2 weeks
  • Slugs and snails like to eat the new shoots, so you may like to protect the seedlings by cutting the top off a plastic bottle and placing it over your seedlings
  • Water your sunflower plants regularly
  • As your sunflowers begins to grow taller you will need to help support the stems. Do this by placing a cane near the stem and loosely tying the cane to the plant with string.
  • Remember to wash your hands after you have been gardening
  • Watch your sunflowers as they grow and grow!

If you are sowing your seeds into pots:

  • Remember to wear some gardening gloves
  • Put some compost into plant pots so it comes up almost to the top of the pots
  • Poke your finger in the compost to make holes for your sunflower seeds
  • Carefully place a seed into each hole and then cover them with soil. Water the seeds gently.
  • Put the pots on a sunny windowsill and water whenever the compost feels dry
  • Your plants should pop up through the soil after about 1 or 2 weeks
  • When your plants grow too big for the pots, plant them in bigger flowerpots. You could put the pots in a sunny spot outside.
  • As your sunflowers begins to grow taller you will need to help support the stems. Do this by placing a cane near the stem and loosely tying the cane to the plant with string.
  • Remember to wash your hands after you have been gardening
  • Watch your sunflowers as they grow and grow!
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