Hurricane vs sunflowers

sami46(centralmass)August 27, 2011

I know in the grand scheme of things this is not an important question, BUT I have my beautiful sunflowers just coming on, with the storm coming I wonder if I should just cut them and bring them in the house or could I stake them?

Thanks and stay safe everyone!

Sami

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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

Half and half so you have some either way?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 8:14AM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

If they are far along enough that they will open after cutting, I would cut them. I wouldn't expect them to be standing after the winds they are forecasting.

I'm so disappointed. I planted some Hungarian Broom Corn and it is spectacular! It's got to be about 6 or 7 feet tall, and JUST starting to bud up. I cut a few yesterday for bouquets, but since most of it's not really "in bloom" I will most likely lose the bulk of it. Oh well... there's always next year!

Dee

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 8:33AM
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sami46(centralmass)

Yes Diggerdee the gardener's lament!
nhbabs that's a good compromise, I think I'll do that, but there aren't a lot ready to pick,
There's always next year LOL
Sami

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 9:18AM
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spedigrees z4VT

I share your dilemma, Sami, except that I'm hoping to have some seeds to save from mine. Since my sunflower crop now consists of about 4 plants (albeit each with multiple flower heads) I'm opting to try staking them. I lost most of the original sunflowers to rodent dammage early on, then several of my remaining plants in the wind/rain storm last week. I'm hoping to surround the plants with my tall tomato cages and anchor them down with metal fence posts.

I hope the sunflowers in your garden survive the hurricane, and that you get to enjoy the ones you cut and bring indoors.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 12:43PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I tried to grow Mammoth seed Sunflowers, and the dang Robins pulled them all up. Which turned out to be okay, because the Tithonia, Mexican Sunflower has filled in that spot and is spectacular - about 7 feet tall.

The tomatoes are also doing great and they are supported the way Spedigrees describes with tomato rings around them and 2 6-foot redwood stakes in each ring to anchor them. That might work for Sunflowers too if they're not too tall.

I'll be sad if things get ruined. I should at least go out and cut a bunch of flowers before the wind to enjoy inside.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 3:18PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

I cut some flowers this morning - cut all my zinnias, lilies and dahlias that were in bloom and made a couple of bouquets to enjoy. I figure it might be the last of them for the season.

Regarding staking - I actually went around the yard and pulled up a lot of stakes. I was worried they might become loose in the storm and fly around.

Dee

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 4:00PM
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sami46(centralmass)

I'm happy to report the remaining sunflower stalks with buds made it through Irene unscathed,
I hope all of u did also!
Sami

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 10:36AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Glad to hear your sunflowers were okay. Turns out I should have staked the Tithonia BEFORE the storm - big 7 foot plants were leaning way over and few branches got broken. The flowers are kinda mangled. I staked them back up and they should make a decent recovery.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 8:16PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

What happy news about your sunflowers, sami, amazing that they made it through!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2011 at 12:50AM
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tree_oracle(z6b MA)

From my perspective, it was no contest. The hurricane won. I had a row of Mammoth sunflowers in my garden that looked great before the storm. The whole row was roughly 9ft tall and the heads of the flowers were enormous. None of the stalks were ripped out of the ground by the hurricane but the flowers were so heavy from their size that every stalk snapped within 1-2 ft of the top. The seeds had not ripened yet. It was really disappointing. However, I'm even more determined next year. I'm going to plant some Sunzilla seeds then. Hopefully, I can grow some 15-20 ft monsters.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2011 at 9:52PM
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sami46(centralmass)

Oh tree oracle, I'm sorry to read abt your sunflowers! There's really nothing like them, is there? And again, there's always next year (round two)
Sami

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 1:17AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Tree, that's a bummer, not just for you but all the birds that would have enjoyed those seeds. They sounded spectacular.

My Tithonia is recovering pretty well. I've staked, clipped off broken stalks, and deadheaded the mangled flowers, and it's looking pretty good after a week.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 9:10AM
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SCPearson(5 NE CT)

I have two large crops of tall perennial sunflowers. Last year they leaned over pretty far, so I staked them all early in the summer this year. They made it through Irene but are all leaning (only ONE stapped). They have so many buds this year! We lost several trees and 3 very tall ones snapped in half but a neighbor had one tall 3 trunk tree that went right through the middle of her house, taking out her whole bathroom, so we know how lucky we were in the big picture. We were without electricity for 6 days though. Used up a lot of candles, and finished off our gas tank on the grill. Still feeling grateful that it wasn't so much worse.
Amazingly, the morning glories along a fence are doing better than ever after the hurricane.
Susan NE CT

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 12:55AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Wow, that sounds horrible having a trip rip open your house! I am curious what kind of trees snapped in half like that Susan?

We had some gusty winds and the tree canopies were whipping around. I have numerous large trees that were not pruned properly when young, and are growing with codominant trunks. I was impressed that not a single tree lost a large trunk or branch. Just zillions of smaller branches, sticks and leaves.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 9:55AM
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SCPearson(5 NE CT)

The trees that snapped in half were a birch, an oak, and a maple! They were not the ones that I thought would come down or be damaged. The wind was terrifying at times. We heard the trees coming down around our neighborhood - large cracking noises amidst the howling wind. Another nearby neighbor was so lucky when a big tree completely uprooted and hooked onto another at a V in that tree and spared his house.
Susan

    Bookmark   September 19, 2011 at 1:49AM
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