Looking into planting some sunflowers in our yard because I just love them. Anyhow, I'm not a gardener and I have little experience. Do you think It'd be better for me to start them indoors or sow directly outside? TIA
Don't start them inside.. I find they get really leggy and tall and spindly and take forever to get acclimated to outside. Dont' know where you are, but up here in NYC I usually stick some seeds in the ground in late April. The birds I feed also plant some. They usually grow best.
Ditto what NY lady said regarding the starting indoors. I'm with you......who doesn't like sunflowers!
Why is that birdie planted ones always do better than the ones we sow?
Gotta warn you, MB...
Last summer, I was also a newbie to sunflowers. I got lots of great advice about how to grow them from the lovely folks here. The one thing no one mentioned is that apparently, sunflowers like the east sun to shine on their li'l 'faces'. I planted mine in the northeast corner of my lot. Those little imps bloomed facing away from my view from any angle except from the neighbor's yard.
I googled up a storm trying to find more information about this tendency. Some sites said it's an old wives' tale. Others said it's definitely true - at least for more than a few varieties - that they indeed face east when they bloom.
Consider that when you choose a site to plant.
Thanks, we're in Ohio zone 5b. We live on a main street in town. I was going to take the corner of our backyard pole fence, that can be seen from the street, and fill it in with sunflowers for some extra privacy. The neighbors will appreciate it also since they won't have to see us swimming in our pool (with or w/o suits...wink-wink, lol)
When the sunflowers start to bloom the heads turn with the sun.. I had a whole row of mine booming facing west to my neighbors.. They did look nice to anyone walking down the street. There are a whole lot of different kinds too.. I love the Russian Mammoth. They grow tall and make huge heads
I grow a few but squirrels seem to knock down & eat most of them. Love them tho. Don't start early inside (I tried) yep spindly...They need of course strong sun! Where in 5b are you?
"Those that throw mud, lose ground!" :>)
I love the mammoths too.....I have to put walmart bags over the heads so they will mature because the gold finches will eat them. I save them for the birds during winter....push a big head over a nail driven into a fencepost and you have a bird buffet.
I also like the red ones. They last a long time in a bouquet, then you can save those heads too, although the seeds aren't quite mature.
Northeast Ohio, about 45 minutes south of Cleveland, OH. The corner of our yard I'm thinking about planting in faces northeast, gets 6+ hrs sun a day, so we should be good to go in that spot you think? Thanks
Here's my pathetic sunflower plants. Deer love em. Facing south/SE...
I have a bunch of volunteers in my front yard from my bird feeders. I'm going to dig some of them & transplant them where I really want them. Maybe if I get enough of them to grow it will help with bird seed next winter. Last yr. I had some that bloomed but the house finches stripped the heads before the seeds were mature. I guess they liked the soft seeds.
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Just a guess but could it be that the bird planted ones aren't as deep as most people plant them? Some plants like their seeds close to the surface and some even need light to grow (although you would most likely need to cover them with something to keep birds from eating them.) Maybe Dave's or someplace could tell you if they need light to germinate well?
Luv R Pups
~ It's our relationships, with God and with each other, that really count in life. ~
~~ Gardening, a healthy addiction! ~~
I love sunflowers and am going to plant some this season. If mine don't turn and face the sun, I just turn them myself! The very first time I planted 2 of them I was so upset to discover the skwirls have stolen them literally. I was so upset cause till you get to the place where the seeds are getting ready to mature is such a long wait! I was very sad as I was looking forward to collecting my very own sunflower seeds. The next year, I put PANTYHOSE over the heads right before they started to droop and the critters left them alone!!!! Muddy, if you don't wear pantyhose, go to the dollar store and buy some for sunflower protection!!! (or ask for them on Freecycle, LOL!!!)
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