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If you want to cultivate sunflowers in your garden, the plants make it relatively easy. They flower from July to September in many beds or in pots and pans on the terrace and balcony and stretch their thick yellow flowers always towards the sun. There are many different species, but rarely differ in sowing and care. So thick flowers or a variety of smaller yellow or orange-red flowers adorn the local gardens.
Already in autumn, the hobby gardener should prepare for the next sowing of his sunflowers. Then the sunflower seeds are harvested from the dried flowers and spread on a large piece of cardboard in a warm, dry place, such as the boiler room for drying. The sunflower seeds may remain in the warm place but also in the dry bloom. So they are ready for sowing in April of next year.
With a sowing sunflowers can be easily cultivated. This succeeds in the garden bed as well as in the bucket on the terrace or the balcony. Of course, the flowers can be brought to the house before the garden season starts. However, this is not really necessary and an equally good, if not better, result will be achieved if the seeds are placed in the soil directly at the final location. From sowing to the first flowering, a waiting period of about eleven weeks can be expected. If the soil has warmed to around 7 to 8° Celsius in April, the first sowing can start. This should be done as follows:
- Set rows at a distance of about 75 cm
- The planting distance should be in the rows about 45 cm
- The seeds must be placed about 4 - 6 cm deep in the ground
- If the seeds are to be sown at different times, leave more space between the individual seeds
- so later the next seeds can be sown here in between
- Sunflowers are cultivated in the tub, here sow at most two flowers together
- it is better to sow only one sunflower in each bucket
- At the beginning more seeds can be inserted into the bucket
- but later remove the weaker seedlings
- The bucket should be at least 35 cm in diameter
- as soon as the seeds have been sown, further care must be taken
If the seeds of the sunflower are sown in small pots and kept in the house for germination, then they must, when they have grown larger, be planted in their future place. Much does not have to be considered here:
- Water bales well
- dig out a sufficiently large hole in the field or in the bucket
- Insert sunflower and pour well
As the name implies, sunflowers are sun worshipers and therefore wish a sunny location. The location should also be protected from the wind, as the flowers grow very high and are then endangered in windy weather, causing the stems to collapse or even break in the worst case. Therefore, the following locations are ideal for sunflowers:
- in front of a sunny wall
- in front of a high fence
- on a trellis to which they are tied and thus supported
Substrate & soil
Sunflowers need a lot of nutrients right from the start, so that they can grow out as high as possible and also the flower heads can become pretty big and thus can radiate with the sun in the bet. Therefore, it is essential to prepare the soil at the site well before sowing the sunflower seeds:
- deep and humus rich soil
- if the soil is too sandy, the sunflowers will later need more fertilizer
- mix sandy soil with horn shavings or compost to make it more nutritious
Sunflowers need a lot of water right from the beginning, the soil in which they are sown must never become dry. This applies equally to garden beds and tubs. However, they also do not tolerate waterlogging, therefore, it must be ensured that even in potted plants that no moisture accumulates in the saucer.Ideally, in potted plants, before soil and seeds are introduced, drainage of pottery shards or gravel and plant fleece is applied over the drain hole. In addition, care should be taken when watering and fertilising, so that the sunflowers in summer enjoy a rich flowering:
- it is sunny and warm needs to be poured daily
- Since the flowers have their location in the blazing sun, should be poured only in the early morning or late evening hours
- On particularly hot days, it is even recommended to water in the morning and in the evening
- Especially the potted plants should not be forgotten, as the water in the tub evaporates even faster due to the sunlight
- hanging leaves and heads indicate lack of water
- Suitable fertilizers are nettle, or liquid fertilizers from the trade, which is enriched with nitrogen, boron and potassium
- once or twice a week add fertilizer to the irrigation water
Sunflowers do not need a cut as they are one year old. So they are drawn altogether after stemming with roots and roots from the earth and disposed of on the compost. However, if you want to make provision for the next year, cut off the flowers with the seeds before disposal and let them dry in a warm place, to later harvest the sunflower seeds.
Tip: If you do not need all the seeds of a summer, you can distribute the dried flowers with the seeds for the domestic birds in the garden at feeding places for the winter. The birds then pick the sunflower seeds out of the flowers.
Sunflowers are propagated by seeds. This is fast and easy. Even sunflower seeds from birdseed are quite reliable. It is sown in early spring, preferably in the field. That goes from April, into May. Of course you can also prefer them and plant them out later. You can also pull sunflowers in the tub. Although the plants remain smaller in it, but are quite handsome.
When sowing in the field, it is recommended to keep a planting distance of at least half a meter.
With good care, sunflowers can become very tall and strong. There are real competitions for the largest copies. If you do not care about especially large flower heads, you should opt for sunflowers with several flowers. The flowering takes longer, you have more of the plants.
Care mistakes, diseases or pests
With good fertilization, the flower heads of sunflowers can become so heavy that they break off. If the hobby gardener notices that the stems have buckled below the flower, these can still be saved by splitting them here. For this purpose, a bamboo stick is fixed at the breakage with tape, so the flowers have enough hold and grow further. Although the sunflowers are quite sturdy, they can be attacked by some diseases:
- different mushrooms
- Powdery mildew
- Pests such as aphids, cicadas or spider mites
If you want to compete with your neighbors for the most beautiful sunflowers, you will not have a hard time achieving that. The graceful sunbathers are sunk with the sunflower seeds of last year. The sowing is not difficult and can take place directly at the site in the garden bed or bucket. Also, the care of annual plants is relatively easy, if they get enough water and fertilizer, they delight in the gardens with tall growth and beautiful, thick flowers.