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Sunflower question


Joined: Aug 27, 2011
Posts: 6
Location: Florida
I have about a 200 sq ft area that I want to plant just in sunflowers for the bees and birds. How do I go about planting the area for the best results? Should I germinate the seeds prior to planting? Should I toss the seeds and rake over? Any help would be appreciated, seeing as I can't seem to find any info about it elsewhere.
Nick Garbarino

Joined: Apr 24, 2012
Posts: 239
Location: west central Florida
Assuming you're planting annuals, spacing should be 18-24 inches, according to my references (books and internet). Perennials (like jerusalem artichoke) farther apart. Plant seeds in place, one inch deep. I'll be planting some too as soon as my seeds arrive in the mail.

Certifiable food forest gardener, free gardening advice offered and accepted. Permaculture is the intersection of environmentalsim and agriculture.
Matt Smith

Joined: Feb 04, 2012
Posts: 181
Location: Central Ohio, Zone 6A - High water table, heavy clay.
How I'd go about it really depends on how many seeds I had. I grow Mammoth Grey Striped, and I hand planted each seed the first year cause I only had a few packets.

I usually plant them about 1/2" deep and make sure to cover them. Around here the birds would eat anything I just broadcast out on the soil. And I would direct-sow them... they don't like to be transplanted.
Joshua Finch

Joined: Apr 23, 2012
Posts: 64
Location: Espoo, Finland
Sunflowers are very forgiving. If you don't want to hand plant them (which doesn't take too long), you can make seed balls about the size of a grape and scatter 'em. Then cover with a mulch. I would also consider growing beans or another vining crop up them once they get established (about a foot tall or so).
Rusty Bowman

Joined: May 30, 2009
Posts: 127
Location: Idaho
I just scatter my sunflower seeds on loose ground and rake. Depending on your soil, you may want to sprinkle some compost on prior...or you can scatter your seeds then sprinkle compost on top and not rake. Like Joshua, I find them very forgiving.

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Joined: Aug 27, 2011
Posts: 6
Location: Florida
thanks very much all
dan collins

Joined: Apr 22, 2012
Posts: 61
Location: Nova Scotia
I do lots of transplanting of sunflowers, and have never found them tough other than when root balled or have not developed enough roots. I usally start a cold frame with them broad casted, racked in with lid cracked to allow some breeze or they get leggy. When transplanting I move them like a sod clump with a shovel. Pre water plant and fill hole with water allow to drain, break off transplant, water them in... no problems. Hot sunny day not recommended. I usally space foot apart. I have grown them the last ten years just like this. Also in the fall when birds start feeding off the flowers, remove have eaten head place in any location you wish to have volunteers the next spring.

Experiment, invent, build, grow, share....lead by example people!!!
Brenda Groth

Joined: Feb 01, 2009
Posts: 4433
Location: North Central Michigan
an easy way is to hang a sunflower bird feeder in the area and they'll practically plant themselves.


Bloom where you are planted.
Jordan Lowery

Joined: Sep 26, 2009
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
if you want to grow things for the birds and bees, plant more than just sunflowers. try 5 types of sunflower, add some amaranth which the bees love, plants with small seeds, big seeds, small blooms big blooms. you will attract more species of birds and insects this way too.

The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings. - Masanobu Fukuoka
subject: Sunflower question