Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ya Gotta Love A Sunflower

I'm not sure what happened, but I didn't plant any sunflowers in the garden last year. And I missed them. Although I've never gotten any to mature enough that I could actually harvest seeds from them, that doesn't really matter. The old-fashioned look they lend to a garden is enough for me.

This shot was taken in 2008 of me showing how tall the sunflowers were (I'm 5'3") the last time they appeared in my garden.

This year I made certain to remember to put in a 35' row of them on the far south end of the field garden.

They're still not very big so far this year, maybe 12" tall. And I didn't get very good germination either. But then we haven't exactly had sunflower-friendly weather either. I planted them a foot apart for the whole 35' and only sixteen germinated. Would you question my gardening know-how if I confessed the seeds I used were from . . . 1999? ("We-e-e-ll," she says in a whiny voice.) I do have extremely good luck saving and using old seeds . . . but I may have pushed the envelope just a little too far on this one.

I filled in the gaps a couple of weeks ago (with more of the same old seeds) and a couple more have made an emergence. The row won't be perfect but I look forward to seeing those big, bright, happy faces following the sun across the sky each day.

Reminder to self: Order sunflower seeds for 2011 garden.


Erin said...

Whew! I thought from your title you were going to say you had sunflowers blooming already! I did the same, I planted them with old seed back in April or May, zero germination! Then forgot until a couple of weeks ago, so mine are about 8 inches high right now while everyone else is about to get blooms LOL!

Mama Pea said...

Hey, Erin - Looking at that old picture and then looking at how puny my sunflowers are right now, it's hard to believe they will (they WILL, won't they??) get that big yet this summer.

Hope you found some more time today to be "lazy." ;o)

Katidids said...

I can't get over how old the seeds are...and still germinated! ANY % I'd consider a success!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Katie - These were the same seeds I used in 2008 and got really GOOD germination so I just COULDN'T toss them this year without giving them one more chance. Now that I've done that, I really will toss them and order new seed for next year!

Leigh said...

I love sunflowers too and yours look great. I only hope mine do well this year.

Fiona said...

I love sunflowers too. Funnily, I used 2009 seeds and I too had spotty germination for this year. It sounds like we've had similar weather so perhaps it's not just the seeds?

Teri said...

Oh I just love that picture of you and the sunflowers! I haven't planted any in my garden this year - YET. I may still give them a try - with warm temps into early October that we usually have,I think I may still have time... I'll have to check. Thanks for the reminder and the beautiful pics!

Jo said...

What a good idea -- a border of sunflowers on the edge of the garden. Mine are planted in a 4'x4' square, so it won't have the same effect. We've had better weather down here -- my sunflowers are 3'-4' tall right now. A few days of hot weather and yours will be growing like mad!

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Leigh - Every year I say I'm going to start them extra early under hot caps so I can get some seeds from them . . . but then when the time comes, it seems like too much trouble! So I guess I'll just enjoy the lovely display they give in the garden and not worry about the seeds. (Or move south!)

Hey, Fiona - Are you suggesting the big conglomerate sunflower seed companies are messing with our seeds? ;o)

Hi, Teri - Thanks for the kind words. Do you grow any of the little varieties for your bouquets? They sure do make a stunning arrangement.

Hi, Jo - Yeah, each year I think they aren't gonna get over two feet tall but then when we do get into warmer weather in July and August they tend to shoot up. (I need a reminder of how big they do get when I'm grunting and groaning trying to pull the tree-like stalks out in the fall!)