Of all the seeds I have ever placed in the ground, sunflower seeds are the most likely to produce, survive, and develop into astounding gorgeousness. They are reliable, edible, and beautiful. I prefer the giant sunflower varieties like Mammoth Russian and Mammoth Grey. This year’s favourite variety is Lemon Queen Organic Heirloom from Botanical Interests. Just look at that face. It’s as if heaven is smiling on you when you look into the face of a Lemon Queen.
How to Grow a Sunflower
Lemon Queen loves full sun, is an annual, and grows between 5′ and 7′ tall. It is also the sunflower variety being grown for a multi-year bee count project to gather information about native bee populations. According to Botanical Interests, more than 100,000 citizen-scientists across the U.S. and Canada participate in the research by counting the number of bees that visit their Lemon Queen plants. Bees and other pollinating insects are attracted to the nectar and pollen provided by the large, pale lemon yellow coloured flowers with dark brown centers.
Here’s the thing – sunflowers are easy to grow in almost any well-drained soil. If you want continuous bloom, sow a new crop every 2-4 weeks up until 3 months before first fall frost and you will have total sunflower domination in your neighbourhoods for months. Gently push the seeds in the ground, water the first week or two, then ignore. Do not fertilize or spray with chemicals of any kind – no need – as you will be amazed at the results.
Shawna is the author of the critically acclaimed book, Gardening Nude, which is a guide for living a green lifestyle. She is the CEO of MAD 4 World Enterprises and Partner of 78 Pesos, which is a video production company that specializes in sustainable online content. Shawna is an on-camera spokesperson, newspaper columnist, internationally recognized keynote speaker, environmental and health correspondent. She is an experienced spokesperson with green lifestyle living, organic gardening, culinary, and eco content creation who campaigns for social good. You can learn more about her at http://www.shawnacoronado.com or follow her on twitter @ShawnaCoronado.
Learn More About Composting and Gardening:
- How to Prepare Your Garden for Spring
- 5 Ways to Conserve Water While Gardening
- How to Plant a Tomato
- How to Grow the Best Dinosaur Kale
- Composting 101
- 10 Things You Never Thought to Compost