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2024 Garden Challenges at Mary's Heirloom Seeds

2024 Garden Challenges at Mary's Heirloom Seeds

Mary Smith |

January 2024

Happy New Year!

There has been a "growing" interest in new garden challenges at Mary's Heirloom Seeds. This year we have 3 different challenges in 1 awesome announcement!


For this challenge, we are looking for the heaviest tomato you can grow. For that, we suggest the DINNER PLATE TOMATO. This is not a required variety, just a suggestion.



For this challenge, we are looking for the longest cucumber you can grow from stem to tip. For this we suggest the Armenian Cucumber, the Suyo Long Cucumber or Painted Serpent Cucumber. These are not a required variety, just suggestions.

ARMENIAN CUCUMBER: can grow 30-36 inches long and is heat tolerant.


SUYO LONG CUCUMBER: can grow 16 inches long as is heat tolerant.
PAINTED SERPENT CUCUMBER: can grow 24-24 inches long.



For this challenge, we are looking for the widest sunflower seed head (minus the petals). For this we suggest TITAN SUNFLOWER and MONGOLIAN GIANT SUNFLOWER. These are not a required variety, just suggestions.


Would you like to join us?

Here's how it works. This is going to be a fun contest with prizes at the end of the season.

-Seeds must be purchased from Mary's Heirloom Seeds

-Seeds must be grown in 2024 since the contest ends in November 2024

-Please register with us as soon as possible via email to mary@marysheirloomseeds.com with the subject "2024 Garden Challenge"

-There will be a check-in posted once a month at Mary's Heirloom Seeds if you would like to comment and share your "growth" throughout the challenge.

-Final check-in is November 1, 2024 but you can send in your entry as soon as you are ready.

-This challenge is open to residents of the US and Canada

-Take pictures! We love to see your gardens and this is a great way to share your progress

-Have fun!


2024 Garden Challenges Bundle


The top 2 entries for the "largest, longest, widest" challenges will each receive a $50 gift certificate to Mary's Heirloom Seeds.

Please feel free to leave a comment below.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask!
Email: mary@marysheirloomseeds.com




Can we have a contest for the smallest sunflower? I believe I probably have the record smallest Mongolian sunflower. It is 1 and 1/2 ft tall and the bloom is about one and a half inches across! I have a photo. And I know that’s where I put the Mongolian sunflowers I’m rather shocked. I knew my soil was poor, but my goodness. Moving to another climate is such a adjustment in so many ways. I grew glorious mammoth sunflowers in Illinois. I had such visions of gloriousness in my back corner this year. I shouldn’t be disappointed because I’m still feeding the bees. But I’m so disheartened right now. It’s not what I was thinking it was going to be. I planted them 4 feet apart. I could have planted them side by side within 3 in of one another.

Dawn Simpson,

I’m all in! Doing all 3 challenges! Watch along on Wholesome Roots!


June check in! So far I have 5 sunflowers growing. 3 in the ground, 1 in it’s own grow bag, and one in my okra bed. The three in the ground are growing VERY slowly. I contribute that to my laziness when planting. It was experimental to mix some bagged soil in with clay. They’re still trying but are super small. The grow bag sunflower is growing more quickly. I have no companions accompanying this flower. I am feeding and making sure it is adequately supported. The okra bed sunflower? massive. I can’t quite figure it out but it is THRIVING.

Katherine Carrington,

Checking in! I have 2 types of sunflowers growing: Mongolian giant and titan. I have the Mongolian growing in a grow bag and the others are in ground. It’s quite the experiment for me. My grow bag sunflower is growing nicely. Those in ground are more slow, and I contribute to a mix off garden soil, compost, and clay soil. I did try to amend that clay well but those sunflower roots grow deeply!

Katherine Carrington ,

2024 Garden Challenge check in. Sunflowers are planted and popping up already. I will probably succession sow some more soon. Cucumbers were started inside and I just planted in the garden yesterday. I may do some direct sow just in case. Tomatoes, well not so sure about those. Sigh. 😒

Michelle Hamm,

I’m in!!! I’ll do my best !! Love the challenges!!!

Maria Reyes,

I am in! Growing all of the above at minimum.

Cecilia ,

My seeds have arrived. I am looking forward to seeing all of the pictures from the challenge. I’m only entering the tomato challenge, it’s my first time. It should be fun.

Zina Lott,

I can’t find the right blog post – but the question was what is my favorite pollinator plant. It used to be marigolds, but Borage has won. I still have some growing in the garden – after a heavy frost and 2 different snow storms. What a surprise.

I will be adding sunflowers this year.



Erin Shannon ,

I love growing huge sunflowers! I’m so glad I have seen your challenge. Can’t wait to see what nature can do!

Anna Bell,

Thank you! I can’t wait for the warmer weather to get back to gardening. 🧑‍🌾

Maria Welsh,

Oh, love this challenge. Sounds like Big fun!!
Can’t wait to get started. Let’s have some fun folks.

Joy Townsend ,

This is the first challenge that I have entered. I am eager to get planting, as we are switching over from battling sand in the soil an rocks, to raised garden beds. This should be a good year I am looking forward to getting started.

Debi Pruitt,

I will register for the “widest” sunflower and will order the seeds from you.

Patricia Keene,

I am so Excited for the spring/summer challenges this year 2024. Tomatoes, cucumber and sunflowers are my absolute favorites in my garden or any garden.

Debra Dixon,

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