A Sunny Patch

In late April I began work on a new project on the south side of our garden shed, a full-sun area we hadn’t utilized. After weeding then amending the 6×20′ area of soil with compost, I transplanted over 150 sunflower seedlings I’d started in the shed and greenhouse. Sunflowers or Helianthus annus have been faithful bloomers for me here at Coppertop in 2014 and 2015, as seen below.

 

First, I gave the seedlings an opportunity to harden off and adjust to our cool spring temps while still in their trays.

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Chianti, Solar Eclipse, Goldy Honey Bear, and Red Sun are some of the varieties I planted, along with plenty of mammoth sunflowers. Adding stakes and tying all 150 babies took large chunks of time. The thought of  a beautiful, huge, summery patch of gold and red flowers kept me going.

By June the sunflowers had taken off!

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Kudos are due to Hubby and Son who created the charming rock border. Those boulders are hefty, and they loaded them into the truck — free for the taking from some friends who wanted them gone from their landscape — then unloaded them and arranged them!

So here we are in mid-July, still experiencing our coolest and dampest summer since moving to Coppertop over two years ago. The progress of the sunflowers has been slow but steady. Yesterday I noticed our first large (6 ft.) and small (4 ft.) blooms. Many more on the way!

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4 thoughts on “A Sunny Patch

  1. March, I am in awe! And very envious! I’m trying to grow 3 full-size sunflowers, but they’re currently only about 2.5-3 ft. I’ve also got over a dozen dwarf sunflowers that I planted randomly amongst the herbs and vegetables, but they’re still not taller than a couple of inches at the most. The birds will love you even more than before, what with 150 heads to tempt them.

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    • Thank you for the encouragement, Sabine! For a tiny investment for the seed packets (plus lots of time transplanting and staking) sunflowers do very well here. I love your idea of planting them interspersed with veggies. Birds will find the dried blossoms wherever they grow — if I don’t cut them all for bouquets for vases and friends! Up on our deck, stray black sunflower seeds dropped by birds at the feeders sprouted in various pots. I’ve moved them to one pot where they’re thriving. I’ll attempt to see if they are worth growing to harvest for masses of bird seed next year.

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