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Anyone else have malformed sunflowers?

Posted by thinman Z5 MI (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 7, 07 at 21:12

I've had at least a quarter of my sunflowers develop creased disks with incomplete and lopsided ray petals this year. Some plantings had more than half the flowers turn out to be unusable, to the point where last weekend I had only enough flowers to get through the first two hours of the market.

Here's a pic:

From what I can find out, it sounds as if the sunflower midge may be to blame, yet this was the first year for sunflowers on that piece of ground. Maybe that doesn't matter.

Does anyone have experience with this kind of thing, or have a problem this year?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Anyone else have malformed sunflowers?

OK, I'm guessing the answer must be no to my question, so I'll reply myself so the message can begin a slow drift to the bottom of the list.


RE: Anyone else have malformed sunflowers?

sorry, no ideas. I planted a few giant sunflowers last year and they attacked. The only sunflower that I was able to save ended up looking like a heart since the squirrels ate a V shape out of the top :-(. Good luck w/ your sunfowers!

RE: Anyone else have malformed sunflowers?

We had one of the worst droughts in 20 years here in Michigan during the 2007 growing season.

Sometimes certain sunflowers in the sections do just that. They are unique. Oftentimes we will have "offtypes" mixed in the seeds we receive from vendors. Case in point: Pro Cut Red/Lemon Bicolor from Johnny's. Half of the section was just that -- "offtypes." The production manager wondered if we were feeding wild birds in the area. Well -- not intentionally. And, if that was the case, how did those birds know to plant those seeds exactly in the center of our 6" grids? We didn't want a refund. We just wanted to make them aware there was an inventory control/production problem. Apparently, not on their end. That was their explanation. Case closed. No problem on their end.

But, look at your other sunflowers in the background. They are beautiful.

Wondering where you market in Michigan.

Warmest Regards,

RE: Anyone else have malformed sunflowers?

Thanks very much for your replies, Brian and Trish.

Trish - It was quite a drought, wasn't it? We went from July 8 to August 28 with no appreciable rain. Luckily I had drip tape to keep my flowers going.

All my seeds came from Johnny's last year, and the creased heads were mostly in the Sunrich Orange and Sunrich Orange Summer rows, at least at first. But, later plantings of both turned out well.

I am selling up in Harbor Springs. It's a small market, but I just started selling last summer and the small size was just right for a newbie trying to figure things out. I'll be back this summer with a few more offerings, I hope.

Thanks for your interest.


RE: Anyone else have malformed sunflowers?

The 2007 season is one we don't want to repeat any time soon. And, because we received rain August 29 and 30, the weather folks called it an average season for rain because they, of course, average it out. They can't see the farmers' fields from their air conditioned office high atop their building.

You must do well in Harbor Springs. It's tourist country. I would imagine the tourist ask if the vase is included. We get that alot in Grand Haven and South Haven. We get the Illinois people. My sister calls them FIPs. She's lives in Illinois. So, I guess she can. We also get vacationers from the Detroit area. The out of state people don't mind spending the money. The folks in Michigan not so much. As you know were one of the highest economically depressed areas in the country.

Warm regards,

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