Few flowers measure up to this charming garden giant.
Sunflowers have a sort of enchantment about them, a simple elegance that sets them apart from other garden flowers. Not only do they come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors...but they're so easygoing that all you pretty much have to do is plant and watch them take off. Here are a few more tips on selecting, growing and even harvesting these wide-eyed overseers of the garden...
It's so simple anyone can do it. In fact, try growing sunflowers with your kids. With speedy results, (typically 10-20 days), they're perfect for short attention spans!
- Sunflowers are heat lovers, so make sure that all danger of frost has passed when planting. Plant seeds 1 inch deep, spaced 6 inches apart in a sunny spot where they will not shade other plants.
- When seedlings are 3 inches tall, thin them out 1 to 1-1/2 feet apart. Dwarf varieties can e squeezed closer in containers, about 4 to 6 inches apart.
- If possible, plant sunflowers near a fence or structure to steady their tall stalks against the wind.
- Plant sunflowers next to other fall favorites like mums, purple asters and marigolds.
- If you prefer to save seeds for your family, cover the heads with a mesh bag or cheesecloth (this will keep out critters).
- When the seed heads turn brown, cut them off the stem and dry in a ventilated place. if roasting, soak seeds overnight in salted water...or simply pluck them off to save for next year!