planting sunflower seeds

planting these bright and breezy bloomers is a snap. no plant says summer like a sunflower. the bright yellow blooms are like a smile on a stalk. you can use them for cut flowers, leave them on the stalk for a gorgeous outdoor display in your garden, or harvest and eat their seeds. sunflowers are annual plants. sunflowers are tall, tough plants, with some varieties reaching 14 feet in height. many varieties attract bees and birds who dine on sunflower nectar and seeds, making them an ideal choice for a wildlife or pollinator garden.

fungal diseases like downy mildew, rust and powdery mildew can infect the plants. the brown middle of the sunflower will mature into a seed head after the petals fall off. if you’re growing sunflowers to save and eat the seed, do the following: there are many types of sunflowers, ranging from giants that reach 14 feet or higher to dwarfs that stay under a foot tall. ‘russian mammoth’ is the traditional giant sunflower, an aptly named variety that can grow to more than 12 feet tall with blooms the diameter of dinner plates. ‘autumn beauty’ is a gorgeous cultivar that grows branching stems of blooms in tones of yellow, orange, bronze and red. blooms are 4″ to 6″ across on plants that grow to 6 feet tall. plants are multibranched and grow to 6 feet tall. this small sunflower is ideal for containers and small gardens.

they are remarkably tough and will grow in any kind of soil as long as it is not waterlogged. when the european settlers arrived, they immediately recognized the value of sunflowers and sent seeds back to europe. the plants will be much smaller, with fewer branches, but the stems will be longer and flower heads a good size for arrangements. spreading a 2- or 3-inch mulch layer of some kind of organic material on the soil will reduce moisture loss through evaporation and discourage weeds.

also try cutting away the few leaves that are closest to the heads to make it harder for birds to perch and feed.deer will readily eliminate a sunflower patch. eventually the leaves wither and die. they feed in the flower and destroy seeds, creating a mass of webbing and debris. to harvest the seeds ahead of the birds and squirrels, cut off the seed heads with a foot or so of stem attached and hang them in a warm, dry place that is well-ventilated and protected from rodents and bugs. sunflower seeds are rich in vitamins, proteins, and minerals, as well as linoleic acid which helps the body metabolize fats properly.

plant the seeds no more than an inch deep and about 6 inches apart. thin the seedlings once they hit 6 inches tall, leaving the strongest plants space seeds about 6 inches apart in a shallow trench between 1 and 2 inches deep. cover and keep watered until seeds sprout in 7 to 10 days. generally, sunflower seeds are sown 1-inch deep, spacing the seeds 6 to 36-inches apart, depending on the variety. you can also sow several, planting sunflower seeds in pots, planting sunflower seeds in pots, how late can you plant sunflowers, planting sunflower seeds indoors, how deep to plant sunflower seeds.

sunflowers should be planted 1 to 1-1/2 inches deep and about 6 inches apart after the soil has thoroughly warmed. if you wish, you can plant multiple seeds and thin them to the strongest contenders when the plants are six inches tall. when growing sunflowers, you can generally plant the seeds from early march to mid-may, but this will differ by variety so always check the seed packet. to give in general, plant sunflower seeds at least 1/2 inch deep. space seeds 6 inches apart. if planting in rows, you’ll want 2 to 3 dig a shallow trench of about one inch deep and place the seeds inside. if you want small flower heads, plant the seeds two to four inches apart, how long do sunflowers take to grow, do sunflowers come back every year.

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