Planting Sunflower Seeds
Planting sunflower seeds has always been a great method of introducing children to gardening.
Sunflower seeds germinate really quickly and grow to awesome heights in a very short time.
This must seem to small children like the Beanstalk from fairy tales as sunflower stalks tower over them!
Finally they are rewarded with a big happy smiley face as the flower opens and turns its face, which may be bigger than your child's face, towards the sun.
It's not only children who are enamored with sunflowers.
I love them!
They encourage wildlife into the garden too as birds love them, and squirrels and other small creatures find their seeds a treat to eat when the flower dies back in winter.
While you don't want birds and squirrels near your fruit canes, they are great in the flower garden where small birds feed off garden pests, helping keep your flowers blooming and looking beautiful.
Bees, the gardener's friends, love sunflowers.
Bees pollinate many flowers and fruits in their never ending quest for pollen.
Buy some sunflower seeds for planting in your garden this year and grow these beautiful flowers that are eye catching and brighten up the garden.
If you click through to Amazon, you will see an incredible array of sunflower seeds, and many in big bags sold as animal or bird feed.
All of them will grow if planted in the ground. The seeds of the sunflower develop on their faces - each flower has thousands of seeds and they are the 'yellow' coloring in the centre with the flower petals at the outside.
Once they are dried out on the flower itself at the end of the season, they can be collected and planted again in the following spring.
You could make up bags of treats for the birds by enclosing bunches of them inside a netted bag and hanging them up on trees, branches or a dedicated bird feeder in your garden.
Planting sunflower seeds is easy. Simply push it into the ground where you want it to grow. Make a shallow hole and pop the seed in, covering it over the soil and watering in well.
Sunflowers hate drought you will need to make sure it gets adequate waterings in arid areas.
Plant in spring once the risk of frost is past and you will be rewarded with beautiful sunflowers all summer long.
Sunflowers are annuals, which means that they will only grow for one season, after which they die. But don't be sad, they leave behind plenty of seeds which you can use again and again.
Sunflower seeds are used commercially to make sunflower seed oil. Sunflowers are a recognisable farming crop where they are grown in huge numbers to supply the pet and bird food industry too.
You can also use sunflower seed in cooking.
Some people say when planting sunflowers it is best to put 2 or 3 seeds in each hole you make for the seed, so than when the seedlings come through you can choose the biggest and strongest to grow while thinning out the weaker ones.
I don't like doing this. These poor little baby plants have tried their best to grow and they all deserve their own opportunity. We don't dispose of the runts of the litters in animals, why do it with plants?
Sunflowers grow a tap root to support their great height, and so do not transplant well. They are better planted directly into the soil where you want them to grow.
If you want to grow several sunflowers, plant them 12" - 18" apart, to give each one plenty of room to grow.
Prepare the ground well before planting by turning it over, added in well -rotted compost and removing all weeds.
If you have a field you could end up with something like this: see below