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When I first started the sidewalk native plant garden – way back in 1998 – I planted lots of sunflowers. Each year sunny, funny-faced flowers swayed on stalks six feet tall and taller. People asked how I grew them. It was easy – put the seeds in the ground and wait. People still ask me about the sunflowers. In fact someone just asked me about it last week.

For the past few years, now that the garden is fuller, when I put the seeds in the ground and wait, nothing happens. There isn’t as much sun and it seems that the seeds and/or seedlings get eaten before they make it to adulthood. Well this year is going to be different! I purchased lots and lots of seeds. I’m planting them in pots and in the ground. I plan to transplant some of the container-germinated seeds into the garden when they are big enough to withstand munching.

Rows of pots seeded with dwarf sunflowers. I put three seeds in each pot – in a straight line. I will transplant two of them to the garden and leave one in each pot.

I purchased the following sunflower seeds:

Sunny Smile
Sunbright Kids
Ring of Fire
Moulin Rouge F1
Autumn Beauty Mixture

I bought Mammoth and Dwarf at Home Depot (and I’m not proud). The rest I purchased online from Harris Seeds. I tried several local nurseries but they were only selling the small packets and they didn’t have ones I wanted. Most of these are the short plants that will do well in pots. They were selected with a maturation date of June 12th on the nose.

In celebration of sunflowers from earlier years enjoy the following pictures.

July 11, 2002

July 12, 2003

July 12, 2003

July 12, 2003. Don’t miss the bee to the left of center.

September 3, 2004

6 thoughts on “Sunflowers

  1. Sunflower seeds are my favorite! Great shoots!

  2. Our neighbor has monster sunflowers each year. It's fun to watch them grow and then to see the birds demolish them for the seeds later in the season. Do you have to stake the taller ones to stop them falling over?

  3. Love the photos- did you use a ruler to line up the pots?! I love how neat and orderly it all looks. <br />Seed Savers is my favorite source for sunflowers. Got one this year named &quot;Titan&quot; which promises to win county fairs!

  4. Thanks, Plantis. Troy, I didn&#39;t stake the huge sunflowers – when growing in the sun without too much water they are pretty sturdy. I think a few times I had to provide support, but mostly not. <br />Christine – no ruler. I didn&#39;t know about Seed Savers but they look really good. I will definitely give them a try next time. Thanks for the tip.

  5. I keep meaning to grow sunflowers for the joy of them. I am wondering what the row of upturned pots is for. But I was reading quickly, I now realize. Maybe you explained… she said, embarrassed!

  6. Hi CM – no I don&#39;t think I mentioned the upside down pots. They are there until I plant them with more sunflowers. I have been buying these pots at the 99 cent store for the wedding. Some will be part of the center pieces, others just placed around the yard for decoration. Anyway, thought they looked cool on the plank of wood (just a scrap).

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