Sunflowers are basically annual plants which produce small or large yellow flowers during the summer season. Sunflowers are quite popular for the beauty that they possess and also because of the fact that they can be grown very easily. Planting Sunflower Seeds during spring can always serve as fun activity for children and even for the adults. There is minimum preparation and time required to plant sunflower seeds. The step by step procedure of planting sunflower seeds has been detailed below:
Germinating the Sunflower Seeds
Prior to planting sunflower seeds you need to look forward to germinating the sunflower seeds. This can be done by following the steps mentioned below:
• Check the temperatures outdoor: Sunflowers can easily be started indoors but they work their very best if they are transported outdoors within a week’s time. Sunflowers grow best at temperatures ranging between 64 and 91 degree Fahrenheit. Sunflowers generally take 80 to 120 days to completely mature and develop new seeds which is also dependent on variety.
• Select the sunflower variety: There are a number of sunflower hybrids and varieties. However, you need to look out for some basic characteristics described on online listing or seed packet. You need to check the maximum height of the sunflower and you also need to decide between sunflowers that produce one stalk and a flower or the ones that branch out in multiple stalks and have a number of smaller blooms.
• The seeds need to be folded in a moist paper towel: Dampen a paper towel and place the seeds on one side of the towel. Next, you need to fold the towel so that the seeds are completely covered. In case you have a very large number of sunflower seeds then you can go straight for planting the seeds. Here, you should note that seeds which are planted directly into the soil generally take 11 days for proper emergence.
• The paper towels should be kept in plastic bags: The moist paper towels should be kept in plastic bags and they should be checked once or twice during the day. Once you find that the seeds have nicely sprouted, move on with your process of Planting Sunflower Seeds. You should also keep this in mind that the paper towels have to be kept at a temperature over 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Shorten the rim of the seed shells: If you find that the seeds are not sprouting within three to four days, use a clipper to trim the rim of the seed shells. Nevertheless, be careful about no damaging the interiors of the seed. If you find the paper towel s drying out then add some water to the towels.
Planting the Sunflower Seeds
Planting sunflower seeds is the step that you need to follow after germinating the seeds. The important guidelines that are required to be followed include:
• Choosing a location that is sunny: Sunflowers grow very well in places having 6 to 8 hours of sunlight every day. Therefore, it is important for you to make the choice of a location that gets enough sunlight during the day.
• Go for soil with deep drainage: Sunflowers typically grow very long taproots and they might rot is the soil remains waterlogged. Therefore, it is recommended to dig a 2 feet deep hole to check for compacted and hard soil.
• Consider the soil quality: Sunflowers can easily grow in normal garden soils that do not need to go through extra treatment. For poor soil, you can use a good mix of loamy soil to grow sunflowers.
• Plant the sunflower seeds 6 inches apart and 1 inch deep: The sunflower seeds need to be planted in trenches or holes 6 inches apart from each other and 1 inch deep. The seeds can be planted 2 inch deep if the soil is sandy and loose.
Taking Care of the Sunflower Plants
After the germination and the plantation procedures are over, you need to start taking care of the sunflower plants. Keep the soil around the young sunflower plants moist not damp until the sprouts start emerging. You should also try and protect the sunflower plants from snails, squirrels and birds as they love the sunflower seeds.