Sunflower

Growing Guide

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Sow depth

1-2cm

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Space between seeds / seedlings

100cm

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Row space

100cm

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Size of pot needed (width / depth)

50-100cm2

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Seedling Sow Depth

5cm

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Best practice

Directly sown

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Germination (days)

5-10

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Maturity (days)

80-120

How to Grow

How to grow video guide
From seed

Before you plant, mix some compost into the soil.

Sow sunflower seeds about one knuckle deep, approximately three times the diameter of the seed (1-2cm).

Sunflowers look stunning when planted en masse, another reason to sow them directly, plus it saves you the tedious task of transplanting them all.

Space seeds about 10cm apart in a shallow trench between 1 and 2 cm deep.

In sandy soil, 2cm deep is better.

Cover and keep watered until seeds sprout in 7 to 10 days.

When the first true leaves appear (the second set of leaves); thin plants to about 60-100 cm apart.

Depending on the variety, sunflowers will mature and develop seeds in 80 to 120 days.

Sow a new row every 2 to 3 weeks to enjoy continuous blooms until the first frost.

From seedling

It is best to direct sow sunflower seeds.

In a pot

Although sunflowers can be started indoors in individual peat pots, it is easiest to sow seeds directly into the soil after all danger of spring frost is past

Ready to harvest

In the early fall, check flower heads for signs of maturity.

The reverse side turns from green to yellow-brown.

Large heads will nod downward.

A close look will reveal the tiny petals covering the developing seeds have dried and now fall out easily exposing the tightly packed mature seeds.

Collect seed

In the early fall, check flower heads for signs of maturity.

The reverse side turns from green to yellow-brown.

Large heads will nod downward, and tightly packed seeds will be within the center of the sunflower.

To harvest the seeds ahead of the birds and squirrels, cut off the seed heads with a foot or so of stem attached and hang them in a warm, dry place that is well-ventilated and protected from rodents and bugs.

Keep the harvested seed heads out of humidity to prevent spoilage from molds and let them cure for several weeks.

When the seeds are thoroughly dried dislodge them by rubbing two heads together, or by brushing them with your fingers or a stiff brush.

Allow the seeds to dry for a few more days then store in airtight glass jars in the refrigerator to retain flavor.

When to Grow

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Zone 1 - Cool

October , November , December

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Zone 2 - Temperate

January , August , September , October , November , December

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Zone 3 - Subtropical

January , February , March , April , August , September , October , November , December

Companion Planting

Tips for Care

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Although sunflowers can be started indoors in individual peat pots, it is easiest to sow seeds directly into the soil after all danger of spring frost is past
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Use the seeds for snacks, alone or mixed with raisins, dried fruit chips, and nuts.

Add hulled sunflower seeds to salads and use them in fruit or vegetable recipes.

Substitute sunflower seeds for nuts in baking.
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Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamins, proteins, and minerals, as well as linoleic acid which helps the body metabolize fats properly.

They contain about 24 to 27 percent protein, only slightly less than an equal weight of ground beef.

Pests & Problems


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