Residents of Minehead and the surrounding areas are invited to compete in the Minehead Sunflower Competition. 

The contest is being hosted by local businessman Peter King. The Somerset Sweet Peas boss has promised £100 to the person who can grow the tallest sunflower. 

A second place prize of £50 will be awarded to the grower whose sunflower has the largest head. In order to enter the competition, participants must purchase their sunflower seeds from Somerset Sweet Peas. Mr King has purchased F1 sunflower seeds from America.

Minehead Sunflower competition catchment
Minehead Sunflower competition catchment (Peter King)

It’s hoped these seeds will produce especially big sunflowers. Mr King said: “An F1 has a lot more vigour than normal seeds. We got them from America at great expense as we had to pay for a phytotoxin certificate” 

Somerset Sweet Peas is an online company that sells sweet peas and attends trade shows, such as BBC Gardeners’ World Live at Birmingham’s NEC. But this foray into the world of sunflowers may not be the last.

Mr King said: “Next year I might extend the competition and increase the prize money.” 

With the closing date for measurements set for August 31, the race is on.