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Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

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Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  cheyannarach on 6/8/2012, 4:16 am

Sunflowers
Sunflowers are beautiful and recognizable to just about everyone. The big flowering head is not a flower but a lot of tiny flowers that will eventually turn into seeds, the yellow "petals" around the center are there to protect the actual flowers. Sunflowers are native to the Americas and have been used many ways such as seeds, bread, cooking oil, the oil has also been used for hair conditioner, livestock feed, a peanut butter alternative, sunflower butter, the stalks have even been used to make paper! They have even been used to extract toxins out of the ground (they were use d at Chernobyl for this) They are very versitile. They can also be grown as an annual or perenial.
Be careful when you are choosing a location to plant sunflowers, there are several things you need to take into consideration. Sunflowers are called sunflowers for a reason, remember this when you plant next to a structure such as a fence or the house, this will take away sunlight from the flower. Also when planting them make sure to remember that the seeds contain a substance that can kill grass and inhibit the next crops growth, sunflowers are allelopathic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allelopathy)
A big reason I like to have sunflowers in the garden, besides their beauty, is for the birds! Birds will pick at the sunflowers, leaving pretty much everything else alone. Birds that especially love sunflowers are blackbird, goldfinch, dove, grosbeak and sparrow. So if these are a pest to you sunflower will help you. My sunflower seeds are for the birds, not me!
If you want to harvest your sunflower seeds after the leaves (or "petals" ) have fallen off of the sunflower and the back side of the sunflower has turned yellow cut the flower leaving a 3 - 4 inch stem (you may want to put a paper sack over the sunflower head). Then wait a few weeks until your sunflowers have turned brown on the backside, once dried you can simply rub your hand over the seeds and they will pop out or you can rub two heads together to get them to pop out. Just remember to keep them warm, dry, and sheltered while preparing to harvest!
If you love sunflower seeds, you will love these banana cookies also studded with chocolate chips. Feel free to double up on the sunflower seeds and omit the chocolate chips. Dried fruit may also be substituted. (Even if I do give my sunflower seeds to the birds doesn't mean I don't buy sunflower seeds to make some yummy goodies like this!)

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:



1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 very ripe medium bananas, peeled and mashed

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated white sugar

1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds

1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips or dried fruit

Preparation:

Whisk together flour and baking soda in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat bananas, butter, and sugar on medium speed until thoroughly combined.

Add flour mixture half at a time, beating to incorporate. Fold in sunflower seeds and chocolate chips.

Refrigerate cookie dough for 45 minutes to 1 hour. (Cold dough helps keep the cookies from spreading.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

Scoop about 1 teaspoonful of cookie dough for each cookie and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until edges are lightly golden.

Yield: about 36 cookies

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  RoOsTeR on 6/8/2012, 7:43 am

Thanks for a great Rookie Topic Cheyanne I love growing sunflowers every year. Not only are they one of my favorite flowers, but the chickens love to eat them! For some reason I've never actually taken the time to clean them up and save the seeds. The seeds have actually become one of my favorite to "sprout" for eating. They are absolutely delicious. Our daughter is also deathly allergic to peanuts, so through the years we have used tons of sunflowers seeds as an alternative to nuts. We may have to try out the recipe you included. It sounds great Like a Star @ heaven
Again, great topic Cheyanne!! flower

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  KDeus on 6/8/2012, 8:01 am

Great topic! Thanks so much for sharing! I have about 10 of them planted and am looking forward to harvesting whatever seeds the birds don't get Smile That recipe sounds delicious!

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  darci.strutt on 6/8/2012, 8:38 am

I have just two of them in my new garden, and they are for the birds...and to look cool. I didn't realize the seeds could harm the soil though. I should have planted them outside of where I intend to grow veggies. Now I wonder if they caused some of the problems in my last garden. I'll remember to clean up after the birds to keep the soil as seed-free as possible. Thanks for the warning about the seeds!

We do love to watch the birds eating in the garden and I've normally saved a spot for a couple sunflowers.

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  cheyannarach on 6/8/2012, 11:25 am

Rooster, I will have to try them for spouts, sounds good!

Darci, some people notice a problem with the soil and some don't, it just depnds on the plant, but you could maybe put some weed screen under them to catch some of the seeds.

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  RoOsTeR on 6/8/2012, 8:54 pm

Gotta try the sunflower sprouts! They are great.
I noticed a few of my sunflowers popping up this afternoon Very Happy

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  camprn on 6/8/2012, 8:58 pm

I love sunflowers. Such happy flowers. flower

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  FamilyGardening on 6/8/2012, 9:22 pm

we saved seed from last years sunflowers....sowed 20 seeds from them and they ALL have come up!.....we love sunflowers!

hugs

rose

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  michellentn on 6/10/2012, 9:06 pm

i put in 3 different size sunflowers in my garden. didn't know it would hurt the soil. great seeds for children to watch grow.

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  cheyannarach on 6/10/2012, 10:05 pm

I hope this rookie topic does not discourage anyone from growing sunflowers, I grow them every year and have never had a terrible problem with the soil. If you want when you notice the seeds starting to fall throw a bag over their heads and collect the seeds for the birds, or chop them down hang the to dry and save the seeds for yourself!

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friday rookie topic sunflowers

Post  Frenchbean on 7/25/2012, 1:04 pm

I love these flowers they always make me happy. Such a clever flower who turns her head to face the sun good idea I can't grow them though. Ive tried everything. Sowing them under plastic bottles, planting them out when there big plants but they get eaten every single year thinking

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  cheyannarach on 7/25/2012, 3:50 pm

@Frenchbean wrote:I love these flowers they always make me happy. Such a clever flower who turns her head to face the sun I can't grow them though. Ive tried everything. Sowing them under plastic bottles, planting them out when there big plants but they get eaten every single year

The deer have been eating mine this year Mad

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  GWN on 7/25/2012, 4:31 pm

This is my first year to be successful with them. I have them in half oak barrels right against the south side of my house. The deer do not get that close.

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  southern gardener on 7/25/2012, 4:35 pm

I put some in between my pumpkins, corn and in my crazy garden out front. The ones with the pumpkins are doing really well. BIG THICK stalks! Can''t wait to see 'em!!

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  RoOsTeR on 7/30/2012, 9:49 pm

This is how my sunflowers looked Saturday morning:




One of my sunflowers finally woke up this morning



Later this afternoon:



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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  camprn on 7/30/2012, 9:53 pm

It's such a happy flower!

My sunflowers, like nearly everything are slow.... flower

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  cheyannarach on 7/30/2012, 10:10 pm

Thanks for the pics Rooster, my sunflowers have become dinner for the darn deer. 22 of 25 of them anyways. Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  Triciasgarden on 7/30/2012, 11:30 pm

Wonderful topic Cheyanne! I planted 2-3 and one remains but is growing nicely! Not as big as yours yet rooster! I always love looking at your garden pictures and your field and view behind your garden! Your blooming sunflower is just beautiful! I have never sprouted sunflower seeds. This is a dumb question but you would shell it first, right? I will share some seeds with my chickens but I want some also!

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  RoOsTeR on 8/3/2012, 7:32 am

Got another shot last night of one of the sunflowers. There was a bee working its magic but flew out as soon as I got the camera ready.

I think I will have several more popping open in the next few days flower

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  southern gardener on 8/3/2012, 11:48 am

@RoOsTeR wrote:Got another shot last night of one of the sunflowers. There was a bee working its magic but flew out as soon as I got the camera ready.

I think I will have several more popping open in the next few days flower

WOW! what a beauty, love the orange in it. What variety?

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  cheyannarach on 8/3/2012, 2:56 pm

That's beautiful Rooster! I hope I will get a few sunflowers to open this year, for some weird reason they seem to be the deers favorite thing to eat this summer.

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  Dunkinjean on 8/3/2012, 5:43 pm

Great job for giving us the info on Sunflowers which I truly love!
Two yrs ago when I introduced Sq Ft Gardening to my oldest son, John and his wife Andrea in Northwest Buffalo, NY, I also gave their son Ian who was 2yrs old at the time a Sunflower seed kit.

We started the kit in peat pots and when appropriate we planted them in the sq ft garden. Since we live 6.5 hrs away, everytime he talked to us he told us about his sunflowers that were as tall as him! Fast forward to now, I still give him his own sunflower seeds to grow and every year he is so thrilled since they grow quickly (I give him the sunflower seeds that will be short sunflowers).

He loves to help in the garden at home now that he is already 4 yrs old..... Very Happy

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  gregrenee88 on 8/3/2012, 6:35 pm

Great info! We didn't plant ours in the MM garden, just in the yard near our deck. According to the package they are only supposed to get 4' high. I am close to 6' tall and some are taller than me. No big deal...I just love em'!!
A goldfinch landed on one today...would have been an awesome picture but I was too slow and he left. I can't wait to grow more next year!

Renee flower




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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  RoOsTeR on 8/18/2012, 11:07 am

Your sunflowers look great Renee flower

My mammoths are just starting to open. It's a bit windy so sorry for the poor quality:







I'm guessing the mammoths are 8-9 foot.

Medley.


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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

Post  gregrenee88 on 8/18/2012, 11:58 am

@RoOsTeR wrote:Your sunflowers look great Renee flower

My mammoths are just starting to open. It's a bit windy so sorry for the poor quality:







I'm guessing the mammoths are 8-9 foot.

Medley.


Thank you Rooster! I've already cut off some of the heads, due to your wonderful information on sunflowers, and have them drying out in the garage in plastic bags. It will be interesting to see how much seed #'s we get once they are all done drying out. I also want to try out the cookie recipe also!!

Renee flower

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Re: Friday Rookie Topic: Sunflowers

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