Hi all - I live in the Washington DC area, zone 7. I'd like to grow
sunflowers from seed this year and I'm wondering if anyone here can
tell me if it's too late in the spring to plant them in my area. Any
information is appreciated.
Washington DC area?
Sorry dude but your tag says are supposed to be in northern Virginia, across
the Potomac river. That must have been some freaking intense Memorial
weekend partying you must have been doing if you wound up wandering around
lost in DC!!!
You can still plant the sunflower seeds but the plants may overshadow your
Depending on the variety you get, it will take between 2-3 months for
you to get to flowers on your plants. Given that, I would think that
you can still most likely grow them. Your seed packet should provide
For Cereus - If Fairfax is considered part of the DC Metro area,
Alexandria certainly qualifies. Since most people are not familiar with
NoVA, it is fairly common to use DC as a point of reference.
I suppose by your definition, Suki, I live in the Washington DC area too.
Just because the Washington DC beltway passes through northern Virginia,
that doesn't mean northern Virginia is in Washington. Since I live in the
area, I know better than that. It passes through southern Maryland too, you
Regardless, plant those sunflowers right away.
Assuming you already have the seeds, check the packet for maturity
timing. Sunflowers don't like frost, so count back from the first
expected fall frost date to find the last date you can plant the sunflowers.
Maturity times range from 60-100 days for various sunflowers. I seed the
shorter varieties as late as early August in New England. (They don't
always make it). For a continuous crop of sunflowers, I seed every other
week using several varieties with different maturity times. Since I use
the hybrid pollenless sunflowers (for cutting) and since the seed is as
much as $70/ounce (700 seeds for that variety) I start the sunflowers in
the greenhouse and transplant them to the field rather than direct
seeding. Transplanting also produces a more uniform stand. Transplanting
is not required for cheap seeds. Broadcast and thin.
If you're planning on collecting seeds from the sunflowers, add a week
or two to the maturity timing, since it is generally calculated to the
flowers (most people's interest).
If you are planting sunflowers from birdseed without any maturity
information, most birdseed maturity times are in the 70-80 day range.
On 1 Jun 2004 17:33:30 -0700, msw_in email@example.com
I'm just planting mine in zone 5 (it has been too wet so
far). Going by past experience mine will be fine. Sunflowers
are EASY and grow really fast.
If you happen to feed birds, save yourself some money and
plant some of the black oilers. Just sort through them and
pick out the nicest/fattest looking seeds. All sorts of
strange and interesting things develop from oilers ;-)
See the following for some images of oilers: