Last year I had an idea of where I wanted to plant some sunflowers but I wasn't able to make it happen in time. This year I resolved to get it done.
I had been eyeing a spot right next to what we call Anthony's barn - it's the big barn closest to our house where he parks his truck. We had some guys out to rototill a few big spots on the property and each spot was unable to be tilled. They were all full of rocks and/or old dumped concrete. So we decided to remove the grass and fill this spot with some beautiful new soil.
These guys brought it out to us and we leveled it out.
Once that was all situated I went online and ordered up my sunflower seeds. I wanted to try a few different cultivars - long, short, amber and bright yellow. I got everything planted on June 1. Here's what it looked like when the seeds first started to germinate.
Here's what it looked like when Patsy escaped and trampled through it. Don't worry, only one little seedling was damaged in that near tragic sunflower accident.
Then they really started to grow like crazy. It reminded me of Jack and the Beanstalk. This was June 19.
This was 5 days later.
2 weeks after that.
And then it all started happening.
One of the best parts was watching the bees give the flowers some love. But once the flowers died, they looked so sad. Pathetic, actually. And only half of them died at first, which reminded me why I need to revisit succession planting next year.
Look how tall the back ones got!
Then the aphids took over. I traveled 3 weeks out of 4 in July, so I wasn't there when they first started appearing. By the time I figured out what was happening, it was too late. They ruined what was left of the sunflowers, and I wasn't able to harvest any of the seeds. I did rescue a few vases full last week, and that's going to be it for the season.
This is the first time I have grown something in the ground from seed. And I loved it, but I definitely need more. Next week we are planning on removing the grass from lots of areas on our property to prepare for next year's flower season. Which includes many many more of these beautiful and cheery flowers.