Organic Vegetable Gardening with Sunflowers
Helianthus, better known as the Sunflower, is one most exciting additions to your organic garden. These robust calcium rich sun loving plants grow to between 8 and 15 feet high in rich soil within 6 months.
As an added bonus, sunflowers attract a variety of birds, a fun and educational experience for the whole family! Plus, certified organic sunflowers seeds make a great snack and are a source of healthy (polyunsaturated fat) oil for cooking and salads.
Don't Forget the "Sun" in "Sunflower"
Sunflowers thrive in just about any soil, but will grow vigorously with compost and manure and produce meatier seeds. Plenty of sun and good drainage is also vital for encouraging maximum growth both below and above ground.
Germinating Certified Organic Seeds
Find a sunny frost free spot indoors (about 70o F) for successful organic seed germination. When the weather and soil warm up, bring your young sunflowers outside. Hopefully, your seeds received weekly meals of organic fertilizer. If so, you will have robust roots ready to sustain healthy plants all season long.
Organic Gardening with Sunflowers
Sunflowers should be planted about 12 inches apart in your bed in rows about 2 to 2 1/2 feet apart. Use a tall piece of bamboo or a wooden stake for support and regularly add organic compost and manure. As you enjoy the fruits of your well deserved labor. Your organic vegetable garden will be more vibrant and colorful than ever before.
Helpful hint: When germination is complete, you will pull everything out but the strongest plant. Typically your first seeds to germinate will be your strongest plants.
Extra helpful hint: Sunflowers can withstand hot dry weather, but continue to water the plant, especially in dry weather, so that the soil remains moist.