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Sunflowers aren't fussy about soil so you don't need to worry too much about soil varieties. Sunflower seedlings are cold-resistant, so short-season growers may want to get a head start by starting seeds several weeks before the last frost. In most areas, though, it's best to wait until the soil is warmer — around the last frost date. If you're sowing seeds directly, you can sow most sunflower seeds 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart. You can move large types to 1. Water well after planting. Apply a 3 to 4 inch layer of mulch to conserve moisture and keep down weeds.

Sunflowers are drought-resistant, but they'll grow better if you water them regularly from the time the flowers begin to develop until they're mature. Sunflowers are remarkably trouble-free, but there are a few issues to watch for. You should rotate your crop if verticillium — a soil fungus that produces dead areas along leaf veins — becomes a problem. To protect seeds from birds, you can cover flowers with mesh bags, cheesecloth, old pantyhose , or perforated plastic bags. An early autumn may interfere with pollination and cause the plant to form empty seeds, but you can avoid this problem by planting earlier the following year.

Harvest the seeds as soon as they start to turn brown, or the backs of the seed heads turn yellow. You can tell because the heads usually begin to droop when they're ready f0r harvesting. Cut your sunflowers along with several inches of stem. You can gift them or use them to brighten your kitchen table or office.

Sunflower | The Flower Expert - Flowers Encyclopedia

To dry them out for animal fodder, hang upside down in a dry, well-ventilated place — such as a garage or attic — until fully dry. You can then store them in plastic bags or glass jars for birds and animal food. Most sunflowers are remarkably tough and easy to grow as long as the soil is not waterlogged. Most are heat- and drought-tolerant. Everyone is familiar with the huge sunflowers that grow on towering eight-foot-tall stalks. Here and yonder, high and low, Goldenrod and sunflowers glow.

Just one ounce of sunflower seeds contains about 6 grams of protein and 14 grams of oils.

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The fats are almost entirely unsaturated with 9g of polyunsaturated and 3g of monounsaturated fats per ounce NSA. Re-soak seeds overnight in salted water. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at degrees on a baking sheet. Seeds should be spread out in a single layer. Stir frequently during the baking and remove seeds when they look slightly browned. Or, you can also make suet cakes for the winter birds!

See how to make suet. Some have told me to cut the seed head off my monsters when birds start eating them. It's cold here and I didn't have alot of room in the house so I put them in paper bags cut in pieces each and put them in the shed.

The backs have turned black on some and some of the seeds have mold on them. Can they still be harvested and eaten?

Life Cycle of a Sunflower

Do I need to bring them in where it's warmer or is it too late? We would not advise eating the moldy seeds. Planted six seeds this spring. Five survived and now are from eight to ten feet tall. One of them has a head about ten inches in diameter and drooping over. What, if anything do I do with it? My first time for Sunflowers. What do I do with them this fall? We have been stationed in Germany for almost a year. I decided to buy some bags of sunflower seeds for the birds and one of the seeds germinated in my flower bed.

I left it alone to see if it would grow.

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The Best Way to Grow Beautiful Sunflowers and Harvest the Seeds

It is now approximately 4 feet tall. The interesting thing is that it is one stalk with 3 flower heads on it. Is this a normal thing? One head is now opened, second is half opened and 3rd is just starting to open. I can send a photo if you need to see it. Yes, this is normal! Planted year old seeds. Plants instead of growing leaves on the main stock new arms with leaves and very small flowers grow. First time this has happened to me.

Plants are six feet tall now, and very bushy, four feet wide. Unless the main stem was somehow damaged…? We got a small package of sunflowers in July to plant.

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Will they last until next year or should we go ahead and plant them now and try to retrieve some of the seeds for next year? I have had great success with my Sunflowers. This year I tried growing a line of them on the Barn wall, it should look pretty. Sunflowers have a special meaning in our family and I do think the Sunny Flower is fun to grow. This year I tried some different varieties, the Lemon Sunflower and the Orange one. I bought 2 Sunflower plants at Home Depot. They looked great with lots of flowers. I planted them in a flower box- plenty of sun.

The flowers almost immediately dried up and the new flowers look dead as soon as they appear. I have watered liberally thinking they were too dry and it has not helped. Any thoughts for me?

Mine are doing the same thing! I bought mine at Home Depot also!


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The leave are withering. Someone please help! Gently wrap the stalk to the support where the break in the stem is located to see if the stalk can be cured. This happened to me and the leaves immediately withered.

Information About Adding Sunflowers to Your Garden

I used band aid plasters around the break, fed and watered it and it recovered brilliantly. I continue to water it well and it is thriving. I enjoyed your article on Sunflowers, which are my favorite after Zinnias. I have tried everything I know to do, and the stinking things still get at the seeds or seedlings. I even tried planting them in seed trays, but they never get that big, or robust as they get from being planted directly in the ground.

I left piles of bird seed from my parrots cage, hoping to distract them, but they got the leftovers, along with the seeds. I tried netting over the ground, and they dig right under the netting. I am at my wits end. Those stinking chippys don't bother anything else. I solved your problem by bribing them with peanuts. I am thankful that I've found this site I am a sunflower lover too and have been trying for three years now to sustain growing my sunflowers in pots but always fail after some weeks I found it out now what's lacking Sunflower oil is awesome.