The summer is nearly here and no matter the weather there’s one sure way to inject a little summer into your life.

Thanks to the lovely folks at SunflowerFest coming up on July 31 and August 1 here’s some top tips to bring a little sunshine into your life.

INBV-Sunflowers 2 shutterstockMichael McGowan, sunflower farmer and owner of Sunflower Fest said: “Earlier this month seen people from all over the world take part in the Sunflower Guerilla Gardening Day, a worldwide movement focused on beautifying cities and neighbourhoods by planting Sunflowers.

“Sunflowers are a perfect flower to plant in urban environment and for those who don’t have a lot of space and time.

“Not only are they herdy flowers that will continue to pop up every spring, but they also provide a gorgeous burst of colour to dull landscapes with their large, brightly coloured heads.

“The perfect plant for those of us lacking a green thumb, sunflowers are an easy-to-grow flower perfect for adding a pop of colour to your garden, window sill or between cracks in a pavement.”

Here are Michael’s Top Tips to bringing a little sunshine into your life:

1. Plant
Plant in soil 2cm deep, or a bit further down in sandy soil.

2. Space
Place your seeds 10cm apart for optimum growth.

3. Hydrate
Water regularly – especially in the 20 days before and after flowering.
Regular watering encourages strong root growth, which is essential for when the plants reach their full height potential.

4. Strength
Support plants over 1 metre tall with a stake to prevent the stocks from bending or snapping.

5. Rotate
To ensure blooming Sunflowers all summer long, plant seeds in a weekly rotation. This will ensure you always have blooming sunflowers in your garden.

6. Harvest
In early autumn, flower heads will mature and the reverse side will turn from green to yellow-brown. To harvest the mature sunflower seeds for planting next year, cut the heads of the flowers and hang them in a dry, well-ventilated space. When the seeds are dried, dislodge them from the flower heads by rubbing two heads together or brushing them with your fingers or a stiff brush.

If you want the chance to see Michael’s famous sunflower garden or check out the best local talent head to Sunflower Fest at Tubby’s Farm in Hillsborough on From July 31 to August 2. Tickets are available from sunflowerfest.co.uk

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