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sunflowers

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by jesussaves on November 09, 2004 03:24 PM
I planted myself some sunflowers this summer just to see if they would grow, and boy did they ever!! they got so big 2 of them toppled over to the ground!! anyways, I'm now wondering what to do with the seeds. I live in s/w canada, so our winters are harsh. Do I remove the seeds from the heads, or just leave them where they fall? I have no clue what to do here, but I absolutely love sunflowers, and would like to save them since they produce so many seeds! [Smile] Just to let you know, I do not own any greeen thumbs whatsoever [Embarrassed] [dunno] [grin]

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POBODIES NERFECT
by suzydaze on November 09, 2004 04:11 PM
I cut mine off and put them somewhere to dry. Wind is so bad here almost all mine fall over before the end of June.

You can remove the seeds now and store just the seed. I do that sometimes too, just depends on how much time I have when I cut the heads off.

Just rub the seeds and they'll start falling out. The drier the head the easier they fall out.

I have a problem keeping the birds off mine too, but you can put a stocking (like panty hose) over the tops to keep the birds out.

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I try to take one day at a time -- but sometimes several days attack me at once.
-Jennifer Unlimited-
by alankhart on November 09, 2004 04:54 PM
If you want to save the seeds you should remove them and store them for next year. I usually remove some for next year and leave the rest up as winter food for the birds. I love looking out the window or walking in the back yard and seeing the birds perched on top of the old blooms pecking at the seeds. I almost always get volunteer plants as well from seeds that have fallen.

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by jesussaves on November 09, 2004 06:53 PM
Thank you for those replies. I did take some of the heads off but left some on in case it was the wrong thing to do. I usually just have robins and sparrows around here, but I did see some interesting little birds on the stalks that i had never seen before. I like that term "volunteer" plants...that made me chuckle [Big Grin] . That is how i discovered how easily sunflowers sprouted: I gave my daughter some to eat and she decided to throw them off the balcony to the squirrels, and some landed in my hanging baskets, and sprouted!! [Roll Eyes]

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by jesussaves on November 09, 2004 06:58 PM
Is it normal to have little worms in the stalks? It didn't kill the sunflowers, and I actually didn't even know they were there until I broke off a head, and there he was, and it looked like he had been there awhile, judging by all the dirt in there [dunno] Then i found them in one or two more stalks. Is this a common thing with sunflowers? They were the mammoth kind with stalks about an inch in diameter and about 5-6 feet tall. [Smile]

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by rozy221 on November 12, 2004 05:30 AM
Hi Jesussaves. I don't really know if the worms are "normal", but I dried out a couple of heads and as I was removing the seeds, I found 3 worms. So, I guess it isn't uncommon. I'm curious to know about this, too. Sorry I can't be of more help, but at least you know you're not alone! [wayey]
by jesussaves on November 12, 2004 06:12 AM
Thanks for the reply...the worms in mine were actually in the stalk, and he looked like he was quite comfy cozy in there!! It did not affect the flower though....didn't even know he was there until I snapped the stalk off. I guess it kinda makes sense when you think about it...flowers are in the dirt, and the bugs are in the dirt...I didn't even plant these in a garden...I don't have one in my backyard yet....I just dug up a spot on my grass, threw in the seeds, hosed it down and watched with avid curiosity!! [Roll Eyes] And what do you know, they grew to be 6 feet!!! [Smile] Who da thunk it?!!
Blessings!
Michelle<>< [angel]

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by suzydaze on November 12, 2004 02:12 PM
I didn't notice any worms in mine but too mine were out along side my tomato patch and I seven dusted out there for tomato worms

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I try to take one day at a time -- but sometimes several days attack me at once.
-Jennifer Unlimited-
by rozy221 on November 13, 2004 05:03 AM
Michelle, I did the same thing-planted on a whim & a prayer, basically, in the yard. I also tried some in a small garden area i have, but those didn't do well at all. I read somewhere that if you have a lot of weeds growing, it's a sign that sunflowers will do well. I intend to go kinda crazy this summer, planting all along my fence as a kind of privacy screen-does anyone know how they do if planted in the same spot as last year? I'm absolutely hooked on them and can't get enough!
by Longy on November 13, 2004 06:49 AM
does anyone know how they do if planted in the same spot as last year? I'm absolutely hooked on them and can't get enough!
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they should be OK for another season or two. They are pretty heavy feeders and will appreciate some organic matter dug into the soil before planting as they have probably depleted the soil a fair bit this season.
May i suggest an early spring planting of a leguminous crop to dig into the soil just prior to planting the sunflowers, say some peas. Bushing peas if there's no fence to grow them on. It does wonders for cold lifeless soils and they germinate at relatively low temps.
Also cucurbit family plants are great underplant companions for sunflowers and you get to eat the crop. Say some cucumber or similar. They also act as a mulch for the sunflowers as they protect the soil from hot sun. Oops. I'm rabbittin' on a bit. Good luck with 'em.
by Jiffymouse on November 13, 2004 06:10 PM
thanks for the ideas longy... question for ya... will peanuts grow in a container the way potatoes will? do you know?
by rozy221 on November 14, 2004 04:49 AM
Thanks for the info Longy. I was thinking about doing pumpkins in the same area as the sunflowers-do you think the two will deplete the soil too much together? I've got limited spaces of full sun, and I really wanted to do pumpkins, but I don't want to sacrifce one for the other.
by Longy on November 21, 2004 12:35 AM
Hey guys, sorry for not getting back. Been travelling.
Re the peanuts, i've never grown them at all but i reckon it's a great idea to try some in a container. Might do that myself as i've been thinking about growing some. Just raw ones from the store are supposed to be ok.

Re the pumpkins and the sunflowers together, they both love a good feed, but just dose 'em up with organic fertiliser every 6 weeks as well as digging some rich organic matter into the soil before planting and they'll be ok.
I use blood and bone with sulphate of potash , pelletised chook poo, any other manures i can get my hands on and compost.

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