Is there such a thing to sow zinnia and sunflower seeds in large areas
directly into the ground? My guess is that it would have to be two
different devices because of the large size difference between the
two. I need something that will save my aching back! I have a small
tractor, if that matters, but would probably dont' want something like
a broadcast spreader.
On Sun, 12 Apr 2009 13:31:50 -0700 (PDT), " email@example.com"
Sure. I've done it with striking results. Sunflowers will grow
4-10 feet. Zinnias about 4-5 feet. Both sunflowers and zinnias are
very colorful and grow well in full sun with little fuss. Good luck
with the flowers, and my deepest sympathies about that aching back.
How big an area? Both flowers re-seed and send up volunteers in my
gardens so I imagine if you tilled or hoed up the area and hand
broadcasted the seed you would get good results.
I'll be planting both in the next week. If you feed birds, be sure to
keep them supplied with plenty of sunflower seeds so they don't eat
the ones you're trying to grow. I learned this the hard way.
There exist all types of seed planting implements, adjustible for differnet
sized seed and adjustable for spacing... many attach to tractors. Naturally
you don't want to scatter sunflower seeds with a spreader, the birds will
scoff them down as fast as you can strew them about, you need an implement
that digs a small furrow, drops seed, and covers them as you go. There are
all kinds of manual implements as well. I can't advise you further about
seeders until you say how large is your "large". It would also help if you
indicate what are your intentions for your sunflowers, for landscaping
because you think they're attractive or for a food crop... there are many
types of sunflower.
Birds can only eat the sunflower seeds when just planted and when just
sprouted, from that point on birds cannot eat sunflower seeds until the
fully ripened heads fall to the ground... sunflower heads grow in such a way
that birds cannot reach the seeds. Sunflowers are a perfect example of
evolution displaying survival of the fittest.... from the time the seeds
form to the point that birds would be attracted the sunflowers grow upside
down, and all around the perimeter of a sunflower the sepals act as an
impenetrable fence, no bird that would eat seeds can can find a place to
perch on a sunflower so they can reach the seeds. That is why sunflowers
can be a food crop, and make no mistake about it, sunflower farming is huge.
Hummingbirds love sunflowers but they don't eat the seeds. Btw, I wouldn't
save sunflower seeds to plant next year, they're hybridized... buy new seed
for each crop. They're called sunflowers not because the flower head
configuration resembles the sun, they're called sunflowers because they
follow the sun.
Also, when growing sunflowers you need to decide early on if the seed is for
your consumption or for wildlife. If for wildlife you cannot apply
insecticides or you will murder the critters. And unless you really know
what you're doing you'd best not apply insecticides if they're for your
consumption... I wouldn't even consider insecticides for any food crop,
especially not if for critters. The critters don't mind the insect larva in
the seeds, not at all, in fact they appreciate the extra protein.
Blue jays have to be the most masterful sunflower seed pickers, one large
jay can polish off a 12" diam head in under an hour. Ravens aren't as fast
but they can flip a large head over so they can get to the seeds. And I've
seen a pair of smartass crows act as team to flip a seed head. Only thing
is if there are jays about they will watch from a distance and as soon as
the ravens and crows flip a head they move in to take over and they are very
territorial of their sunflower head, won't even share with another jay.
Growing sunflowers is interesting, and very entertaining.
Sister Vicky always has to end with a disclaimer... just in case... she has
to cover her dumb ass. You haven't a clue... I don't believe you've done
much gardening, and you keep reinforcing how little you know, about anything
in fact, you're at the grade school keep busy project level... you're still
at the lima bean sprouting with wet blotter paper stage... what a fraud, and
shallow as the typical snot nosed third grader, covering up their ignorance
with infantile name calling. Some folks are attempting serious discussion
here... if you don't want to learn shut the fuck up.
It doesn't much matter if one is going to plant a handful of seed just for
fun (and sunflower is one of the most commonly grown seed for fun) but for
someone planting out a "large" area (as in the present case), and even
considering planting with an implement necessitating a tractor, it doesn't
pay to gamble, and sunflower seed are very inexpensive, especially compared
to one's time, labor, and expectation... no one expects to wait an entire
growing season for an acre or more of plants and end up with little more
than compost material. Only those who haven't done any real gardening would
even consider picking old seed to save for next year's crop, unless they're
still in their lima bean with wet blotter mode, and that's precisely what
having ones vegetable garden in a teensy widdle child's playhouse sized toys
r us greenhouse is tantamount to.
Hmm, musta hit a nerve, eh... you can't possibly be a mench, you are
incapable of thinking for yourself, you are strictly a follower. In fact
you are incapable of thinking<period> For a little while there I actually
thought you were a man with a spine, but you're not and you don't... you're
just quick with a keyboard like a punk with a mouth but you don't know
anything... you'll never fool me again.
I've planted both sunflower and zinnia by broadcasting them, but I never
planted them together. I'd expect that it would work though.
Basically just toss the seed loose on the soil, gently rake it in and
water. The seed should be covered by between 1/4 and 1/2 inch no more.
Do not "bury" the seed. It may be a little early to start these seeds
outdoors. Check the sowing dates in your area.
Rake easy and don't pull your back out.
EJ in NJ
To say I'm planting them for my benefit, I would only mean it in the
sense of using some for cut flower arrangements (not like at a
farmer's market), or just for the view. Mainly for the view and for
wildlife. I have never used any kind of pesticide in my gardens.
The two areas combined are probably around 5,000 square feet. Are you
suggesting that broadcasting the seeds is a better method for weed
control than rows?
I like Mexican sunflowers. They are small and not for seed but the
softness of the plant is sensual combined with a attractive flower
makes this a nice 5 foot plant. I believe finches take the small
flowerets in time. None have ever self seeded :((
Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA
Not all who wander are lost.
I'm partial to te Italian White's that Park Seed has, but all
sunflowers are beautiful. And goldfinches! i never saw them here
before I started planting susnflowers.
5000 sq ft of them - wow! No more advice from me on how to do it
without some back pain. Let us know the results.
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