Sunflowers are the perfect spring flower, and planting them is so easy! These happy flowers thrive in the hot Bermuda summers, and will soon be sprouting almost anywhere you throw a few seeds down.
1. Turn over your soil. Sunflowers like well-draining soil and need space to stretch out. Dig down a little in your flowerbed to aerate the soil.
2. Give them some nutrients. Though sunflowers are not very fussy, to grow tall they’ll need some enriched soil like manure or fertilizer.
3. Plonk in your seeds. These big bright flowers need room to move; place the seeds about 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart from each other.
You’ll be seeing broad-leaved seedlings spring up in no time! Sunflowers will brighten up any garden with their blaze of bright yellow, attracting butterflies and birds. You can experiment with planting new seeds over a few weeks to delight in nonstop blooms.
But what can you do with sunflowers once they’ve grown? Sunflowers look wonderful cut and brought inside for a touch of Van Gogh in your home – just make sure you have a sturdy vase that can handle the heavy flower.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, try harvesting sunflower seeds. Once the petals have fallen off of your blooms, simply cover the heads with cheesecloth to prevent birds purloining your crop. When the backs of the heads are dark brown, about a month later, the seeds are ripe and ready to eat raw. Alternatively, they can be cracked to make your own sunflower oil!
As for the stalks, they make a great base for the compost heap of the self-sustaining gardener. If you want to get a little more adventurous, dry your sunflower stalks for a few days, tie them together with twine, and use them to make a trellis to support creeping plants like beans or tomatoes.