Earth Day

Sunflowers can be started indoors in individual peat pots or sow seeds directly into the soil after all danger of spring frost is past. Sunflower seeds can be planted in all types of soil, and supplemental fertilization is not needed. Plant seeds 1-2 inches deep and 8-12 inches apart in loose soil and full sun. Water the seeds every day (twice daily in very hot or dry climates) until the young plants are well established, then water thoroughly every other day. Tie the plants loosely to stakes with lengths of cloth or other soft material as needed. Weeds should be controlled near sunflowers when the plants are very young. Seeds will ripen in the fall as the seed heads turn downward and the inner flowers shrivel. Cover the heads with fine, sturdy mesh to prevent birds from feasting prematurely, or leave them on the stalks for birds to enjoy directly.