Valley Permaculture Alliance

Hello All,

Does anyone have any tips on growing sunflowers in Phoenix?  How can I grow them year round?

I think Sunflowers are fascinating and one of the happiest plants around.  I live in a historical district and am urging my neighbors to start growing Sunflowers, I think it would make the neighborhood look warm, friendly and happy.  Also I would like to be knowledgable about growing Sunflowers.

Thanks,  Grace

 

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Hi Grace

This is my first time growing sunflowers. Mine are 6 ft tall right now. I had to tie the head up to the trellis, because it was too heavy. When the head hangs down they actually look sad. But tied up they seem to be pretty "happy".

I planted them in mid February along the south facing wall. So they got plenty of sun.

You are right, I love them and when people go into my backyard, they seem to be drawn to them.

Sunflowers are simple. All you need is sun and water.  I had one which was 16 feet tall this year already.  I use them as a radiant barrier to protect my house from the setting sun.  I probably have 100 growing at any given time.  Every week I add 30 more seeds.  Simple as pie.

 

I know they will do better in amended soil, but mine seem to do well in the native soil.

 

To get jumbo sunflowers, go to Bakers and get the mammoth variety.  Save the seeds and you will always have giant sunflowers.  Happy, happy, yellow sunnies!  (My wife's take on sunflowers)

Thanks Everyone for the help,

I love the pics.  I will have to start tying mine up.  When mine droop, they look like they have just been naughty and are trying to hide.

I have been experimenting with different varieties, but I think your right, the mammoth might be a good variety to stick with.  Hehe, I limit my trips to Bakers, because I spent too much money there.  I also just planted the skyscapers and kongs.

I will try your weekly planting schedule.  Good idea I will also use them as a radiant barrier.

Your wife is right they are so happy!  Grace

 

 

 

Has anyone had any experience with the sunflower seeds attracting pigeons?  How can I avoid attracting pigeons to my yard?  Is there a plant I could plant next to the sunflowers that pigeons hate?

If you plant bird food, you get birds. Along with pigeons, you should get doves, wild parrots (love birds) and lots of other wildlife. As far as I know there isn't anything you can plant next to them that will make a pigeon not want to eat food. Is there a particular reason you don't want pigeons in your yard?

 

Thanks for mentioning the wild parrots.  My friend has those in the back yard and nobody believes him.  They are pretty I would like to have them.

An older neighbor's house attracted pigeons and their front porch was always filthy.  I want to plant a lot of sunflowers and I don't want to be known as the pigeon house.

 

I have planted many varieties this year and enjoyed them.... so have the ants,bees, ( yippee) ,  rabbits,javelina, and birds. I must say the mexican sunflower variety have proven NOT to like as much water as all the others. I think I over watered them. Also was hard to harvest flowers being the flowers and stems have been covered with ants most of the summer. Wish I could say I have had 30 at any time.  Rabbits recently devoured 5 little ones. how long do most of you fine your sunflowers keep producing before you have to rip them out of the ground cause they are dead? What have you all done in this heat to keep seedling from dying. Hard to keep soil moist all day. Once grown no problem with just watering them in the morning.

Hi Linda,

 

I love sunflowers and did a lot of research and experimentation on growing them here in the valley.  They are sometimes referred to as the "fourth sister" because they are frequently grown on the perimeter of three sisters plantings of beans, squash and corn.  I put together a chart, hope this link works okay, on variations of the three sisters for planting sunflowers and others of the same grouping.  More of the sunflower is also edible, than most people are familiar with.  They are closely related to the artichoke so the steamed, roasted or sauteed unopened flower bud or the pared 'disc' tastes like artichoke (another fun reason to grow them).  The flower petals are also edible.  Depending on the time of year, sunflowers can stay in bloom for a month or more with many varieties producing multiple blooms in addition to main largest head.

 

On the link below you will find some PDF files for downloading - look for the 'three-sisters' one and it gives a chart for when to plant different plants.

 

https://sites.google.com/site/ediblelandscapinginthedesert/home/hel...

 

In addition to the ants, the bees, hummingbirds and butterflies like the sunflower nectar too :-)

Catherine,

thank you ! I have downloaded and will read later. You are always so helpful!

Regards, linda

 

You are welcome. Sun a wonderful and happy flower I think everyone should grow some :-)

Hi Catherine,

Thanks so much for the info.  I can not wait to steam the sunflower discs.

The info is very helpful to me.  I am not used to gardening in the desert, so I am in desperate need of knowledge when it comes to desert landscaping and gardening.

Thanks, I will share the info with friends.  Grace

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