Friday, July 02, 2010

Giant Sunflower

By now all you good pumpkin growers have plants that are thriving in the long days of summer. In years past I've grown a few large pumpkins. The largest at about 250# but most in the 100 pound range… big enough for people to say “wow!” but not large enough to be competitive.

A few years ago I started growing sunflowers for a few reasons but the deciding factor was space. I don’t have a whole lot of yard to spare for 4 months of the year and the space I can use is occupied by a voracious chewing puppy.

The nice thing about sunflowers is that they grow straight up, and come in a variety of sizes and colors and you can even grow them in a pot. In the picture is a (common 10 year-old) plant that is about 5 weeks into the season, and stands a little over 7’ tall. It has been growing at a rate of 15 inches a week with the help of ample water and some high nitrogen fertilizer. This plant was bred from a flower that I grew 2 years ago. It was 12’ tall with a flower that was 16” across