Want to learn how to grow sunflowers so you can have a sunny and cheery homestead? Find out how easy it is to grow sunflowers here!
Learn How To Grow Sunflowers With This Foolproof Guide
What’s not to love about sunflowers when they’re such amazing and gorgeous plants? There’s something warm and homey about these flowers, which is probably from the cheerful look they have. I’ve been growing sunflowers in my garden for some time and trust me, it has been rewarding. You can never go wrong with sunflowers, which are valuable as a crop and as ornamental plants. Learn more about sunflowers and how easy it is to grow them as you read on.
Why Grow Sunflowers?
If you love to munch on sunflower seeds for snacks, which is a great and healthy choice by the way, these other reasons will get you all the more endeared to sunflowers. So much so, you’ll be growing them anytime asap.
- Sunflowers are edible. From the young seedlings, the young flower heads or buds, young stalks, to the seeds, all of them can be eaten.
- Sunflowers have health-boosting properties. It even made the top 10 list of foods rich in vitamin E, vitamin B, Selenium, and others.
- It’s easy to grow sunflowers. You’ll find this out soon with steps as easy as one, two, three!
- They’re simply beautiful. Perhaps we can all agree on this point. Do you also use cut sunflowers to decorate your home?
- Helps save the bees. With the seeming decline in bee population, indeed sunflowers, which are one of the bee’s favorites, may come to the rescue.
- Excellent food for your pets and livestock. You won’t have to buy sunflower seeds for your bird feeders and your kid’s pet hamsters. Keep your chicken coop happy with sunflower seeds too.
- Excellent for your soil. Apparently, the root system of sunflowers helps condition the soil, which is great when rotating crops.
When To Grow Sunflower
Sunflowers are summer annual flowering-plants which bloom to the heat of the sun. You can grow sunflowers as soon as danger of frost has passed. Planting this time of the year will give you sunflowers with taller stalks and wider flower heads while sunflowers planted in mid summer grows shorter stalks.
Which Of The Sunflower Varieties Is For You
Depending on your purpose, there is one sunflower variety perfect for you. If you want sunflowers for your flower garden, you can choose shorter varieties with smaller flower heads. Other than yellow, hybrid sunflower varieties now offer a wide range of colors from red orange to red. For edible seeds you can harvest and eat, choose the good ol’ American sunflower “Helianthus annuus“.
How To Grow Sunflowers
Perhaps one of the easiest plants to grow and care for are the sunflowers. They’re so easy to grow–it’s practically child’s play. Just follow these three simple steps:
Step 1: Prepare Location And Soil
Pick a sunny location where your plants can get at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight every day. Sunflowers are not picky when it comes to soil and are even drought-tolerant, but they will not tolerate soil with standing water. For maximum growth, pick a sandy well-draining soil to grow sunflowers. You can apply slow-release granular fertilizers with organic fertilizers to your soil to replenish lost nutrients since sunflowers are heavy feeders.
Step 2: Sow Sunflower Seeds
The most efficient way to plant sunflowers is to sow them directly in the ground rather than start them in pots first. Poke 2 to 3 inches deep holes into your soil 20-inch apart so they do not fight for space or room to grow. Drop a seed in each hole, then cover with soil. You can also plant sunflower seeds in smaller intervals, but make sure to thin them as they grow so only the most vigorous seedlings are left to grow.
Step 3: Water And Feed
You will notice seedling sprouts in 6 to 10 days if you keep the soil moist. Water and feed your sunflower seedlings regularly. You can use liquid fertilizer to help the plants with their growth. Remember to water the roots and not the stems or leaves, as this may cause the plants to rot.
When To Harvest Sunflower Seeds
Harvesting sunflower seeds can be exciting, but harvest early and they may not be suited for roasting, harvest too late and birds and the wind may beat you to it. Harvest sunflower seeds when the petals become dry and begin to fall off. There are two methods of harvesting sunflower seeds. One is to allow the seeds to fully ripen on the stem, then cut off the flower head once it is ready. The other is to cut flower heads when two-thirds of the seeds are mature, then wrap a paper bag around the flower head and hang to dry.
Follow the full details on how to grow sunflowers here in this video:
There you go, homesteaders! Now you know how to grow sunflowers. Isn’t it easy enough for your kids to try their hand at? Now you can get the rest of the family involved in gardening with easy to grow sunflowers!
Are you ready now to grow your own sunflowers on your homestead? Let us know in the comments below.
This post was originally published on August 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.