This is my very first time attempting to grow sunflowers. I wanted to collect the seeds so I planted two edible types.
Last week, just as the tallest of the bunch was almost ready to bloom, some critter (who I hazard to guess is black, furry with a long tail and has a propensity for climbing and stealing strawberries) who I cannot firmly identify — as I did not see the actual incident– RIPPED the entire head off the sunflower and shredded it all over the back yard. I was inconsolable… the seeds wouldn’t have even been really formed at that point!
Anyway, the second tallest sunflower actually made it to blooming without being decapitated 2 days ago, Michael climbed a ladder to get great photos, and I have high hopes on harvesting seeds.
– Seeds purchased at WestCoast Seeds and planted (indoors in Jiffy Pellets) early-June 2010. Seedlings were transplanted into the garden about 2 weeks later. This is either a Grey Stripe Confectionary or a Titan. I planted both and now cannot tell them apart.
– Interestingly, I planted the first round of seeds directly in the garden in mid-May and only one grew… which was promptly eaten by whatever is eating ALL my seedlings out there this year.
Sunflower photos by Michael James Horrocks 2010. Used with permission.