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Last year I planted all kinds of sunflowers I can think of for shade. This year I am seeing three times more sprouted all over my yard !!! I suspected birds planted them for me !!! I am curious whats the record for the tallest sunflowers? mine seems to be over 10 feet tall.
I would venture that the planting was done by the wind or maybe some humans trying to do you a favor. A sunflower that gets eaten by birds or squirrels would be digested. There'd be nothing left to plant.
A while back I saw a reference in an archival issue of Mother Earth News about making paper from sunflowers. MEN didnít elaborate and I havenít been able to find anything to tell me how to do it. I would venture that you either chop up the stalks and make a pulp with water and then pour it into a mold or cut the stalks into strips and lay them out over one another like making papyrus.
How nice to have so many sunflowers that messy birds spit out. A lot of birds, if you watch trhem eat sunflowers for some reason pick up and drop 2 or 3 seeds before eating one. Domesticated pigeons do that a lot. The fatter the bird, the pickier it is. I think they drop the biggest seeds. Smaller ones easier to eat.
I'm growing my sunflowers to make oil. If the economy goes completely belly up for years, it could become important.
I'll also be making oils from other flavorful seeds.
I am trying to decide if I should pull up most of the sunflower seedlings... or let them grow.... Last year my front yard was a jungle with so many sunflowers, and this year will be even worse!
This photo is called "Where's the house?
Here is the view looking the other way.
This is how it looked before the Sunflowers went crazy.
awww! Rebbbetzin, its beautiful !! I wish I had more plants like yours ! where I live iis so hard to make everything green ! I understand about the sunflowers, its hard to "torture" them when you want to make room for something else !!
The birds do love them, they visit regularly even before the seeds form. Maybe they are staking claims. Maybe, since the aphids also luv the sunflowers, they find snacks .
I'm guilty of leaving too many sunflowers in the front yard, DL. The flower beds are an outrageous mix and throwing in some sunflowers is a bit much . . . Leaving them in the roses is probably criminal in some neighborhoods . Still, it is nice to have the birds and some that don't seem to be here at home otherwise, show up on the sunflowers.
In the garden, I blame the sunflowers for my tomato plants never having hornworms over the last several years. Sunflowers may not be the best of close neighbors but, at a short distance, they bring in so many birds that I think they keep the hornworms out! Even seed-eaters, feed their babies insects primarily - not so with Marshall's pigeons, however. The chickadees are the ones I think may be the most responsible. All, add to my usual garden companions - the song sparrows and California quail.
You know, I had a friend who fenced an area for her chickens a little late in the year. Sunflowers had already sprouted and grown about 2 feet. The chickens killed everything else green in that pen but the sunflowers grew all summer and provided shade. I'm sure they would have eaten them if they were shorter but the plants soon outgrew the threat. I've even wondered about setting out potted sunflowers in the chicken yard.
By the way DL, there are smaller varieties like the Autumn Beauty mix that will make seeds but not quite overwhelm. Black oil seed sunflowers are also fairly short and quite pretty.
Oh, digit, I don't have pigeons. My nearest neighbor on the lake has a pigeon that kind of adopted him. It just showed up about a year ago. Hung around, and finally he started feeding it. He'd been getting those gallon sized plastic things of bird food with corn, millets, and all kinds of seeds mixed in for it. Yesterday he bought a 50 pound bag of pigeon food!
He named it Egbert, Bert for short. Follows him everywhere! He got his cats to stop harrassing it, but they still do half hearted frontal runs at Egbert.
How can a person tell if a pigeon is male or female? Nobody seems to know. This looks like a typical town pigeon. white nostril area, mostly grey, shimmers of green and red in it, bright eyed, getting fat, but healthy as can be.
I am going to attempt to cross sunflowers this summer.
I'd kind of like to cross my autumn beauties with
and also some various crosses with
Medium and Endurance.
I'd kind of like to create beautiful multipurpose Sunflowers that are not too tall.
Snackseed will be pushing up at my netting.
I may have us confused, that was me who had a few pigeons for so long .
The "shimmers of green and red" suggests a male. He may prance about and coo at times.
Your friend should find an Eglantine for Egbert. If she is left in a cage and the door opened on an evening after a couple of weeks, Bert may find his way in. The door may be opened again after they have built a nest.
Last edited by digitS' (05/05/2012 11:59 am)
Marshall, there's a fella who occasionally posts to my local craigslist site who crosses sunflowers for fun and profit. His website is www.aliensunflowers.com. He also has a page on facebook under the same name.
I'm planting about six varieties of sunflowers this weekend, and I'm letting nature take her course as far as pollination and crossing. I'll save a few of the seeds from each flower to see what comes up next year.
As for the original question of the tallest sunflowers, I know I've seen some 14 footers not far from here. Sunflowers are GIANTS.