Flower Garden

Self Seeding Sunflowers

The veg patch was a hive of activity for sunflower seedlings earlier this year. Seeds were planted on the wind and by wild birds, eagerly feeding on seed heads left over from last summer. Easily recognisable by their large almost wax-like seed leaves, most had to be thinned due to self seeding in the most awkward of places.

Seedlings growing in good positions were each given a bottle cloche, they grew big and strong (annoyingly I lost a few to slugs one night because I forgot to cover them). By recycling 2 litre plastic drink bottles and turning them into cloches, instantly a warm environment safe from slugs can be achieved for next to nothing. Just cut the bottom of the bottle off, place it over your chosen seedling or plant and remove the lid to allow ventilation. Remove the bottle cloche during the day in hot weather to avoid scorching and remove permanently once the plants grow large and fill out.

I’ve measured them at just over 10 feet tall, not exactly giants I know but they’re just how I love sunflowers to be, tall with large flower heads. Sunflowers that I raised from bought seed were disappointing. As long as the sunflowers keep self seeding, I won’t bother sowing them.

4 thoughts on “Self Seeding Sunflowers”

  1. Lovely – and bottle cloches are an excellent re-use tip, I use them for watering down at the roots of e.g. courgettes but haven’t ever done the cloche thing. And thank you, you have also reminded me to make sure I leave space for sunflowers in my garden planning!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous! We only managed to grow a few sunflowers this year. I’d like to do more and try a few different varieties next year. They always make me smile when I see them.

  3. Sunflowers in the veg garden here are all self-seeded. I’ve kept about a dozen, all spectacularly in flower at the moment, and pulled out the other seedlings. Did you know you can eat sunflower seedlings at the 2-leaf (cotyledon) stage? (The true leaves, even when small, are quite horrid.) It’s worth growing a box of seedlings for a sweet and crunchy salad addition!

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