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Sunflowers in a field

RoddersUKRoddersUK Swanwick - SouthamptonPosts: 341
Hi all,

Work wants some sunflowers planted in our field. It's dry, clay, grassy....

Do I grow in pots then dig a hole and plant when 1ft tall (for example)

Or do I dig holes (6" deep) fill with compost and put seeds in and let them do their thing?

Or do I do something else...?
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  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,356
    Sunflowers in a field will need support … farmers are being advised to how them with field maize. You could seek advice from here https://www.fwi.co.uk/news/sunflower-planting-campaign-launched-to-help-ukraine-farmers
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,579
    Depends on the height of the sunflowers.  Here in France and also Italy we see whole fields of them around 80cms high and self-supporting.   If you want the tall ones then you'll have to stake them somehow.

    I would start them off in pots and plant out when strong enough to cope with the conditions.  I am growing both kinds so I have a supply of sunflower seeds for the garden birds and our chooks next winter.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,356
    edited 10 May
    The thing is when they’re all grown together closely in a field as a crop they’re not actually ‘self supporting’ like a tree is … any more than an individual stem of wheat is … they form a block and shield each other from the wind and effects of heavy rain. 

    If they were more widely spaced they wouldn’t remain upright in ‘weather’. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,579
    That means they are effectively self-supporting!

    I have never had to stake short sunflowers growing in borders as small groups of 3 or 5 whether in a sheltered garden in Harrow, a very exposed one in Belgium or this garden which is open to the elements.

    Tall ones do need supports.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • RoddersUKRoddersUK Swanwick - SouthamptonPosts: 341
    edited 10 May
    These will be tall ones. I was thinking a line of them, maybe 20 down one side of our patch and then 20 down the other (not a whole field, just in the field area)
    Just thinking in terms of easiness for me!
    Don't want too many, as I know I will have to stake them.

    Right now I can get them in pots, but I can't get them in the field yet, so would have to wait. But if that was the best, I would make it happen asap.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,356
    Welllllll … only self supporting if grown ‘en masse’ 😊  I don’t think that’s what @RoddersUK was planning …. although if ‘work’ aren’t gardeners or farmers it may be the image that have in their mind’s eye.  🌻 🌻 🌻 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • RoddersUKRoddersUK Swanwick - SouthamptonPosts: 341
    Just sowed 30 seeds in pots.

    They certainly don't want a field full! And if they did....tough  :D
    Unless they buy me a big tractor.... ;)
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,356
    edited 10 May
    How do they want them set out in the field? 😊 
    Is there a fence they can be grown up against?
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • RoddersUKRoddersUK Swanwick - SouthamptonPosts: 341
    Pretty much however I want, I kinda have free reign.

    I have a mowed section with our fruit trees, so I was thinking down the edge of that, which goes to longer unmown meadow grass.
    It will decide the areas a bit then. Or I could clump them in groups.
  • RoddersUKRoddersUK Swanwick - SouthamptonPosts: 341
    Old photo, when I started this, but you can just see the mown line. I was thinking along that?
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