Growing Sunflowers

We are growing sunflowers in our backyard, pictured above in April of 2012. We grow them every year. They are easy to grow and there are many varieties to choose from.

Giant sunflower

We are growing sunflowers in our backyard, pictured above in April of 2012. We grow them every year. They are easy to grow and there are many varieties to choose from.

When we lived in Colorado Springs, we planted a whole row of them right next to a tall wooden fence. The neighborhood squirrels climbed up the fence and ate the seeds, right before we harvested them, much to our shock! We learned a lesson--Never plant them next to a fence!

Sunflower seeds are a healthy snack, they are fun to eat even though they are messy, and they taste good, especially when they are roasted and salted.

Pick a sunny spot away from your fence where you can plant your flowers. Remember that they will grow tall so make sure they have lots of room to shoot up.

Once the chance of frost has gone by, plant them 1/2 inch deep outside, every 3 inches. Thin out the plants, allowing one to three feet between each one so they have plenty of room to grow. Most varieties grow pretty tall, up to six or seven feet. They take between 90 and 110 days to mature.

Once the flower starts dying, slip some panty hose over each flower to keep the birds and squirrels from eating the seeds. Let the seeds dry until they are hard on the sunflower or cut off the heads of the flowers and hang them up indoors to dry in a warm dry place with lots of airflow. Some of the seeds will fall off. Rub the flower on some wire mesh to get the rest of them off, allowing them to fall into a bowl or bucket.

Roast them for about 45 minutes in a 275 degree Fahrenheit oven. Salt the seeds, crack the shells open with your teeth and eat the inner portion of the seed, not the shell.

Growing sunflowers really attract the birds and squirrels to your yard so be prepared.

The summer growing seasons of 2011and 2012 will go down as the hottest in Texas in many years. They have also been very dry. We are under water restrictions here in San Antonio so I have not watered as I should.

Our sunflowers did not come out quite as we had hoped.

Below are some pictures of what we were able to grow this year for the 2011 season.

Growing Harvesting Sunflowers where we talk about growing sunflowers for harvesting. Sunflowers seeds are processed for their oil. What is left is used for bird feed.
Growing Harvesting Sunflowers where we talk about growing sunflowers for harvesting. Sunflowers seeds are processed for their oil. What is left is used for bird feed.

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Here at David’s Garden Seeds, gardening is our passion. We provide top quality non-GMO seeds so families can learn to garden and love it.  In turn, we hope they will pass this passion down to their children and grandchildren, teaching them to grow  delicious food, fresh herbs, and beautiful flowers.

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