Sunflowers come in a wide assortment of shapes and sizes, some cultivars even grow as tall as 15 feet with flower heads as broad as 1 foot across; dwarf types, however, measure just only a foot or two tall. Additionally, there are ancient, medium-height sunflowers that stand 5 to 8 ft tall with heads that 8 to 10 inches round. Some cultivars produce a single large flower; others form several heads.
Sunflower seeds can enhance everything from baked products along with granola to salads and pesto, and they even feed animals and birds. Sunflower petroleum , that is known for its skin advantages, may even be found in lots of beauty products and additives. When it comes to the backyard, you can consider sunflowers for aesthetic purposes, but they are also able to act as windbreaks, privacy screens, or living supports for pole beans.
Here are the best tips to cultivate your healthiest sunflowers yet this year.
Make sure you plant them in sunlight.
If at all possible, choose a site in full sun across the north side of this backyard so the tall crops won’t shade your additional vegetables as soon as they’re grown. Sunflowers aren’t fussy about soil so that you don’t need to worry a lot about soil types .
Sunflower seedlings are cold-resistant, therefore short-season growers may want to have a head start by beginning seeds several weeks before the final frost. In most areas, however, it’s best to wait till the soil is much warmer — around the final frost date.
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If you are sowing seeds directly, you can sow all sunflower seeds 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart. It’s possible to move massive classes to 1.5 feet aside and dwarf or medium-sized cultivars into 1 foot apart. Water well after planting.
Sunflowers are drought-resistant, but they will grow better if you water them regularly from the time the flowers begin to grow until they’re mature.
Sunflowers are remarkably trouble-free, however there are a couple problems to look for. You need to rotate your crop if verticillium — a parasite that creates dead areas as leaf veins — becomes a problem.
To safeguard seeds from birds, then you can cover flowers with mesh totes, cheesecloth, older pantyhose, or perforated plastic bags. An early fall can interfere with pollination and cause the plant to make empty seeds, however, you can avoid this issue by planting before the subsequent year.
Harvest sunflowers at the right time.
Harvest the seeds once they start to turn brown, or the backs of their seed heads turn yellow. It’s possible to tell since the heads typically start to droop when they are ready for reaping.
Cut your sunflowers along with several inches of stem. You can gift them use them to decorate your table or office.
To wash out them for animal fodder, hang upside down in a sterile, well-ventilated area — such as a garage or attic — until fully dry. You can then keep them in plastic bags or glass jars for birds and animal food.
Try roasting your seeds.
To cook your pumpkin seeds, soak them overnight in water (or robust salt , if a sour taste is desired), drain, and spread them on a shallow baking sheet.