When I was in kindergarten my mom grew sunflowers along a privacy fence on the side of our yard. It didn’t take too long before they were peeping over the 7 foot high fence over at the neighbors. I remember the day we harvested the seeds. I sat on the edge of our patio and held the big bloom in my hands rubbing the seeds until they popped off.
Occasionally now I’ll get the notion to grow sunflowers. I love them because they are so bright and beautiful, but I’ve never had the success of that first attempt. The second time I planted sunflower seeds was in a bed in my parents’ yard on the other side of the house. You should have seen the birds crowding the bed, digging up the seeds. It was a feathered smorgasbord!
The next time I attempted to root the seeds indoors in winter in little peat pots in the tiny, old apartment I shared with my younger brother. The plan was to transplant them later thereby protecting them in the seed stage from the birds. This was not successful either. Sunflowers need, well, sun.
Obtain sunflower seeds.
Ensure that the last frost has passed.
Select a part of the garden where there is full sun all day long.
Plant the seeds in the soil 2 inches deep and about 1 foot apart. (And this is my added piece of wisdom: Lay a mesh screen over the bed to allow sun and moisture in but to keep the birds out. I have a screen door insert ready for just an occasion. And, by the way, transplanting sunflower plants is not recommended.)
Watch. Sunflower sprouts will pop up about 2-3 weeks after planting.
Enjoy the beauty of your sunflowers.
And for an added bonus, here is the book’s version on how to eat sunflower seeds:
Purchase a bag of sunflower seeds.
Place one or two sunflower seeds in your mouth.
With your tongue, move one over to your cheek and place the other seed vertically or horizontally between your teeth, depending on your preference.
Apply firm and steady pressure on the seed until it cracks.
Release the seed from your teeth.
Spit out all of the shell pieces and eat the seed.
However, if you are lazy like me, you will either purchase seeds that are already shelled or develop a taste for the crunchy goodness and fiber that is the salted sunflower shell.
And just so you know, in a vegetable gardening class I took in graduate school we learned there are two plants indigenous to north America, corn and sunflowers.