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Sunflower question

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by Shawn M on May 25, 2006 12:18 AM
Hello everyone,

I do usaully do my gardening in containers. A coworker has a farm and had an area he hasn't used for a few years that he said I could use. It is actually an old rice paddy that was overgrown with grass/weeds that were up to 4 ft high. Anyway, I've cleared an area 20' X 30' (some back breaking work). I should be ready to plant some stuff by Saturday (fingers crossed).

Sorry for the story, but I'm pretty stoked about this opportunity to plant some other vegies without the limitations of using containers.

Finally my question...I will be planting some Russian Mammoth Sunflowers, I've read that they should be staked so the young stalks don't topple. These things are supposed to get 8-10' tall, do I need to support them after the first couple of feet?


by johnCT on May 25, 2006 12:46 AM
I've found that the tall sunflowers have very sturdy stalks and they only topple when those damn squirrels jump to them. I have had to stake them and it has helped, but you need tall stakes to make it worthwhile.

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John - Zone 6
by Wrennie on May 25, 2006 12:56 AM
I grew mammoth sunflowers that got 10+ feet tal and never staked them. No problem until the hurricane passed by.( we didnt get hurricanes like the newsworthy ones in the south) Then they toppled and up rooted so I stood them back up and staked them with hardwood stakes. They were good for the rest of the summer.

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by Shawn M on May 25, 2006 01:36 AM
Thanks for the quick responses!

The squirrels here are not much more that an ounce above a chipmunk (ugly critters). There are pheasants thick as all get out, but never heard problems with them getting into the garden (I hope).

The area I am working in an old rice paddy, so it is a bit lower than the surounding area so I don't foresee problems with wind. When I was "working" the area I was actually praying for a breeze to come and cool me off.

I'm hoping these sunflowers will do well, the birds that visit my house love the seeds.

by Marina on May 25, 2006 04:21 AM

My matthouth sunflowers are not about waiste high and I have never stalked them. Some of them did start to grow odd or lean, all I did was show up some dirt around the base to straighten them out.

I can't wait to see how your's are going!!!


by Deborah L. on May 25, 2006 10:24 AM
Shawn, how wonderful-planting in the ground ! I'm a container gardener too, so I know how happy you must be about the old rice paddy.
I planted mammoth sunflowers in a large clay pot, and they were the talk of the neighborhood.
Good luck and post pictures for us ! [flower]

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