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Homeschool Garden Club - Cornflowers

Here we have another edible flower to grow at the Orchard Garden Club. Cornflowers are easy to grow wildflowers that bees and butterflies love. Cornflowers used to grow as weeds in cornfields and fields growing other grains such as wheat, barley, rye and oats, which is how they got their name. Today, they are eaten in posh salads as petals! Sprinkle them over salads or use to decorate cupcakes.

Pollinators are attracted to the flowers but then go on to pollinate your fruit and vegetables. Cornflower nectar is unusually sweet, and a good food source for bees and butterflies.

This week list of recommendations comes from one of my NVQ students who works in customer service for a local garden centre. Although cornflowers are usually blue you can get them in other colours. He suggested that the popular cornflower variety sold in his shop is:

  • Cornflower ‘Polka Dot’ - deep blue flowers

We are going to grow a packet labeled Wildflower Cornflower, this year, because that is what we ended up with in the seed swop!

You Will Need:

  • cornflower seeds

  • Container and multi-purpose compost (if using)

  • Trowel and rake (if growing in the ground)

  • Watering can

Prepare the ground

  • If you’re growing them in the ground, pick a sunny spot.

  • Remove any weeds.

  • Rake the soil so it’s fine and crumbly.

  • If using a container, fill it with compost.

  • Water the soil before sowing.

Sow your seeds

  • If you sow from March to May, you’ll have flowers from June to September.

  • Sow your seeds where you want the flowers to grow.

  • You can grow them on their own, or with other wild flowers like poppies.

  • Sow your seeds 1cm deep and 5cm apart.

  • Cover with soil.

Grow your cornflowers

  • Cornflowers are easy to look after and can even cope with frost.

  • They will germinate in 1 to 2 weeks.

  • Read the packet instructions for thinning.

  • Pick your flowers just before they’re fully open. Cut them just above a leaf, and they should flower again.

  • Cornflowers ‘self-seed’ and so we will only have to sow them this year and they will be back next year.

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