I like to grow sunflowers

shuffles_gwJuly 17, 2014

My (human) neighbors know I grow lots of sunflowers every year. Cardinal adults are very territorial, and during the cool months there are never more than two in the yard. However, the kids are just hungry. From now for a few months, there will be several juveniles in the yard enjoying the sunflower seeds. I average about five of them. I guess the adults go north for milder climes during the summer. Mocking birds are also very territorial, but seem to call a truce to plunder the figs.

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starryrider(9)

The squirrels eat mine

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:12PM
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jane__ny(9-10)

How pretty! I should give them a try. I used to grow them in NY for the birds and they ate every seed. Don't know why I didn't think of growing them here.

Thanks for the suggestion and your beautiful photo.

Jane

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:14PM
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laura1(9aTpa,FL)

I do love sunflowers too. I used to plant them at my other home. When I planted them here...wanting to make a display for those passing by...it didn't work out! hehe! The flowers faced the wrong way :-(

My garden was young then and nothing ate the seeds. I have more birds now (and more squirrels) so that might change if I planted them again.

Thanks for sharing your pretty flowers. do you know what variety that is? I like the multiple flower plants. I was only able to get that variety (name unknown of course) in a variety packet of seeds that I mail ordered. Maybe this variety is more available now??

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:56AM
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ritaweeda

I love them and grow them, but the squirrels ravage them quickly, also the deer if they are able to get to them.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 9:01AM
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shuffles_gw

Thanks for the compliments all. Laura, it is not a known variety. I save seeds from ones I like and they come up in various color combinations. Almost all of them are multi-stemmed like those in the photos and range from yellow to burnt red on eight to ten foot plants. I loose very few to the squirrels. Maybe it's the feral cats that control them. If you like, I have extra seeds.

This post was edited by shuffles on Fri, Jul 18, 14 at 12:10

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 12:07PM
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sultry_jasmine_nights (Florida 9a)

Those are gorgeous. Do you have to stake them to keep them from falling over? I tried some once but once they started to get tall and we had a little wind they fell over in our sandy soil grrr.
I find that I can get them started without the squirrels or chickens eating the sprouts if I start them in pots then transplant them once they are maybe 4 inches tall or so.
~SJN

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 4:32PM
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shuffles_gw

SJN, I have never staked them in my finesand garden. A very few do fall over, but with branches going every which way, the ones I grow seem to balance themselves. I also start in pots till they develop a good root system and get a few inches tall.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 5:42PM
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sweetmonkeycheese(z9 Tampa)

I just planted some, I hoping they will take even though I seem to be late in planting... ugh I hope the squirrels dont eat them!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 6:22PM
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irma_stpete_9b

Shuffles, what is your method? When do you plant? I have bought more sunflower seed packets than any type seed... and never had one grow.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2014 at 8:48PM
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tomncath(St Pete Z10a Heat 10)

T - Do you think that one would do okay at my house? It gets fairly windy here off the lake, I wonder if they would break? I'd still like to try a few seeds of that one to see how they do....

Tom

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 8:09AM
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shuffles_gw

Irma, I wonder why you have had no luck with sunflowers. I plant them any time between February and October, starting them in three or four inch containers. After they start to get a good root system, I put them in the garden spaced about 18" to 24". In the spring we also get volunteers from the prior year. I usually don't fertilize sunflowers, letting them make do with what is left in the garden soil. They don't need a lot of water, but don't mind getting a regular supply. They do like full sun. For the ones I want to save seeds from, I tie a brown paper bag over them when the petals fall off. That is usually enough to protect the seed heads from critters. This summer I have been planting a new batch every two or three weeks. Due to poor drainage and my refusal to spray for bugs, not much else will grow in my garden during the summer.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:39PM
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irma_stpete_9b

Thanks, Shuffles. I probably planted the seeds directly or in too-shallow seed flats. I'll get some now and tend them closely in 4" pots. Yours pictured are gorgeous!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 1:32PM
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shuffles_gw

Irma, thanks. This time of year you need to keep the container seedlings out of the hot sun - they will overheat and die. Partial or afternoon shade is best while getting started in containers. Good luck! I just found some Autumn Beauty seeds that have been in the fridge for a couple years. Planting them today.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 1:57PM
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