Growing tall sunflowers

Bigsun(5)November 4, 2004

I'm interested in making contact with experienced growers who have been breeding sunflowers for HEIGHT. Interested in trading seeds, information etc.

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Brian_NY_NJ_PA(zone 5/6 NY/NJ/)

http://www.geocities.com/sunflower_info/

Here is a link that might be useful: My giant sunflower website

    Bookmark   November 9, 2004 at 2:46PM
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Bigsun(5)

Thanks Brian. Cool site. Question for you: Any thoughts on what be a nice cross with a 99 Craven?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2004 at 3:47PM
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Brian_NY_NJ_PA(zone 5/6 NY/NJ/)

I currently am working on a cross between Craven and Bott's Strain. I was lucky this year, and had two bloom at the same time; so I crossed the pollen from the Bott's onto the Craven. We'll see what I get next year.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2004 at 12:06PM
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Bigsun(5)

Sounds promising. Will be interested to hear how it does. What do the seeds look like....black?

    Bookmark   November 12, 2004 at 4:46PM
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Brian_NY_NJ_PA(zone 5/6 NY/NJ/)

No, pure white. There is a black shelled variety of Craven and a white shelled variety. I crossed it with the white shelled variety. It wasn't by choice though. They were the only two plants that I had flowering at the same time. The one Bott's Strain flowered late, and the Craven flowered early. Bott's growing season is very short compared to the Craven plants.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2004 at 10:03AM
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Bigsun(5)

What traits are you looking for the Bott's to contribute?

    Bookmark   November 15, 2004 at 12:10PM
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Brian_NY_NJ_PA(zone 5/6 NY/NJ/)

Craven plants get very tall, have large seed heads, and have a bulky growth habit, and longer growing season. Bott's Strain get very tall, have small seed heads, narrow growth habit, very uniform in height, and shorter growing season. There are two traits I want to obtain from Bott's Strain plants. The Bott's Strain plants seem to waste less energy on leaf development, and less energy on seed head development.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2004 at 3:20PM
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Bigsun(5)

I wonder if the growing season trait is dominant or recessive in the Craven....and if the tendency to produce a more "streamlined" plant growth is dominant or recessive in the Bott's. I follow your logic on the Craven-Bott's cross. Again, the result should prove interesting. Where do you source your Bott's Strain seeds?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2004 at 9:14AM
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Brian_NY_NJ_PA(zone 5/6 NY/NJ/)

I got the Bott's Strain seeds from VidaVerde seeds in the UK. They were originally bred by Richard Bott of Michigan for 20+ years. I'm not sure which trait is dominat or recessive for growing season. I know someone that most likely know. I will ask him. The growing season for Bott's Strain doesn't seem to hurt it. Mine flowered in about 80 days, but measurements I took on some weeks showed an average growth of 4.5 inches a day. Next year I'm going to try and take much more serious measurements. Every year I get more serious about recording measurements. It's going to be time consuming, but I may take nearly daily measurements next year, and graph the results and put them on my website. The idea sounds great, but actually doing it is another thing.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2004 at 11:09AM
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Bigsun(5)

Seems like the limiting factor on height for the Bott's is it's run to maturity. Statistics on growth habits would be interesting....but as you pointed out, might get tedious and time consuming to collect. How tall was your largest Bott's this season?

    Bookmark   November 16, 2004 at 11:30AM
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Brian_NY_NJ_PA(zone 5/6 NY/NJ/)

The original breeder, Richard Bott, told me he has been able to get a few as tall as 17 feet. The grower from VidaVerde, who sells the seeds, says he has only seen them grow to 16 ft. This was my first year growing them, and my tallest was 14 feet. The majority of mine were either 14 or 13 feet tall, with a few a bit over 12, but those didn't get as much sun because they were in the back corner of the garden.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2004 at 12:29PM
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Bigsun(5)

Here's a question on sunflower anatomy: How deep do sunflower roots grow...and how far out from the stem do they grow/

    Bookmark   November 18, 2004 at 4:30PM
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Brian_NY_NJ_PA(zone 5/6 NY/NJ/)

I haven't read much information on this subject, but I once read a website that they go very deep (10 ft.), but I don't agree with that. I've had sunflowers uproot and although they are very wide, I didn't see much as far as depth. As far as width, most go out to near the drip line of the leaves.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2004 at 3:17PM
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Bigsun(5)

I don't think they grow that deep either. Most of the sunflowers I've uprooted look like they had roots tapering to threads by around 3 feet. They were Grey Stripe seed types; Mammoths etc.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2004 at 3:28PM
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castorcrap(z5 wv & z6 Md)

planting sunflowers north of a wall makes em stretch toward light maybee? Any body have any thoughts on this or other strategies? plant em close together = hieght?
thanks

    Bookmark   December 10, 2004 at 9:44PM
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