Is your yard or garden looking a little worse for the wear? Finding beautiful flowers and foliage can be tough! Or perhaps, you’re looking for low maintenance flowers that continue blooming all summer long? Well, have you thought of trying a sunflower garden? If you have a sandy garden, these flowers could be just the thing that keeps you active and gardening all summer long. Read on to learn how to grow your own sunflowers! You can never go wrong with a sunflower garden.
Where to Plant
First thing is first! You have to determine which area of your yard will support sunflower growth. Unsurprising, sunflowers LOVE areas of full sun. Wherever you plant them, make sure that your flowers are getting plenty! Though they prefer sandy soils, sunflowers will grow in virtually any kind of environment, as long as the soil does not become waterlogged. As long as the PH levels of the soil are between 6.0-7.5, your sunflowers should grow just fine.
Psst….sunflower vines are known to inhibit the stems of the plants in any surrounding areas. Keep sunflowers away from pole beans and potatoes.
Growing Tips and Tricks
Sunflowers are no strangers to drought, but it’s important that gardeners water their sunflowers consistently for 20 days before and after the plant has begun flowering. Water deeply, ensuring that the roots get a drink. After the 20 day periods, your flowers should get enough water from sprinklers or rainfall.
When it comes to fertilizer, it isn’t needed to keep flowers growing. However, if you notice that your flowers are planted in poor soil, it can be a good idea to mix in a slow-acting granular fertilizer twice throughout the growing season. Gardeners can also add a 2-3 inch layer of mulch should they find it necessary. Adding mulch helps reduce moisture loss if you are living in a dry environment!
Your sunflower garden shouldn’t need any “stalking” but most gardeners recommend supporting plants that are over 3 feet tall or ones that are multibranched. Use traditional garden stakes for support, and tie branches to the supports, loosely with cotton fabric.
Unfortunately, pests are a problem when growing sunflowers, but there are a few solutions to that problem! Deer are especially fond of sunflowers, and they’re known for their ability to eliminate an entire flower patch! To protect your crop from deer, I recommend covering the tops of the flowers with chicken wire supported by bamboo stakes. Raise the wiring (and the stakes) as the sunflowers grow and blossom.
Naturally, gardeners have a problem with birds and squirrels come harvest time. If you don’t plan on harvesting the seeds, you can simply leave them to the birds! However, if you are trying to save your harvest, cover your sunflower crop with a chemical pest repellant containing “Thiram” to protect the crop. Though the chemical sounds absolutely terrifying, Thiram is simply a taste repellant commonly put on new sunflowers to protect them from any potentially hungry pests. Purchase my favorite Thiram pest repellant product here! You’ll notice the results!