Going in to my second year officially with the Title ” Flower Farmer” I can confidently say I have picked my favorites!! Sunflowers have soon grown to be on the top of my list of favorite flowers to grow and we have started getting ready for their appearance on the farm!! They have proven to be the easiest and most profitable flower to date for me and who doesn’t love fields of sun flowers!! They germinate quickly, can be direct sewn, have nice sturdy stems and can handle a light frost!! They are not a diva whatsoever and require little to no effort once they get going!!
I plant sunflowers for photography as well as bouquets and they are a fan favorite on the farm. They not only can provide us a steady stream of income on the farm from harvesting them and using them in bouquets we also plant them to use as backdrops for photographers.
Sunflowers make us money twice and who doesn’t kike the sounds of that! The cost of the seeds are very inexpensive so they have proven to be the most profitable flower we grow. If I am being completely honest with you all though, It feels so weird talking about money on here with you, my customers. Obviously this is my business and I am blessed with amazing supportive customers who purchase flowers from me but sharing with you the ins and outs or behind the blooms and money talk feels weird but I have dedicated this blog to being real so here’s to me doing just that!!
One other huge reasons why Sunflowers are on the top of my list of favorite flowers is because not only do they germinate fast they can go from seed to flower in less than 60 days!! I start my first succession in February and plant them out under our caterpillar tunnels .
I soil block my first succession because the ground temperature outside is still pretty cold and it would slow down the germination process. They do great in soil blocks and transfer out great giving you a head start on blooms!! They can handle a light frost and are a lot hardier than most people would think . They are typically known as a summer/ Fall bloom but can definitely be grown in the early spring as well with a little extra care with re-may cloth and caterpillar tunnels.
My Second Succession and our field grown sunflowers that are planted mainly for photography are planted out the end of march or beginning of April. Just for reference I am in growing zone 8b. I direct sew them in the ground unlike the first succession. At this point the ground temperature has warmed up and the seeds can germinate. I place a piece of netting out over the bed and plant a seed in the center of each square. Once the bed is planted I pull up the netting and repeat the process in another bed two weeks later.
I water the seeds in after I plant them but because the amount of rainfall we have during the spring months I don’t water them again. Sunflowers require a lot of water to germinate and when they start getting going but once established are drought tolerant to a certain degree. I think everyone’s soil has big part of that but I have found for us that they do well with little water once they reach a good 12-18 inches High.
As the days get longer and the temperatures warm up a little just getting out in the greenhouse and planting seeds fills my soul. It gives me hope that spring and beauty are just around the corner. With sunflowers being a an inexpensive an easy flower to grow I encourage you to plant some in your yard!! If you are lucky the birds will drop the seeds and they will come back the following year with no effort!! Oh did i forget to mention that they can self seed themselves!! Definitely a bonus with these guys. For me as a flower farmer I rotate out my crops to often to get in on that perk but as home gardeners its always a fun surprise the following spring when they start to pop up!! Happy Gardening friends and hang in their spring is just around the corner!!