How to transplant sunflowers grown in a peat pot?

Raptor666June 22, 2014

So I bought some sunflowers on a whim but now everything I've read says to plant seeds directly (an impossibility here with all the squirrels and birds) and not to disturb their roots, or if you do, to do it after they first get a set of leaves. What about these guys in this pic?

They're Ring of Fire sunflowers. Should I plant them the way the are in some very nutrient rich soil or should I try to separate them? Should I try to peel away the peat pot? I know peat's very acidic (dunno about peat *pots*) and that sunflowers like neutral or alkaline dirt, but otoh the roots have probably all grown through it like my other pots. The tag and website it directs me to says to plant the whole pot, minus the plastic wrapper of course. I saw where some people recommend snipping all but the tallest but I refuse to do that; 4$ for a single plant is ridiculous, especially when they make you think you're are getting more -- I'd rather just take it back.

I bought some seeds too but I think it's too late to plant them; will they keep for next year?

Also, are the Ring of Fire sunflower seeds edible? How about viable; can I collect the seeds and plant them next year?

This is pretty much the first year I've planted anything since I was 7/8, so learning as I go.

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If it were me, I would gently separate the four plants and replant with proper spacing. Give them a high phosphorus fertilizer to help establish the root system and keep it watered. Leaving them together would lead to competition for nutrients. They might be set back, but with some care, they should be alright.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 9:15PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Raptor666 - your location says you're in Ireland yet you talk of dirt and dollars, so it's not clear. If you really are in Ireland your main pest will be slugs and snails. They love sunflower seedlings.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 6:05AM
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Rabbits mowed down my sunflowers this year. One regrew and got mowed again. I think I have one sunflower left that looks normal (and one that may develop 4 or 6 stems if left alone). Next year I'll put them inside a fence.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2014 at 7:58AM
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