Western Canada Poultry Swap

Forum dedicated to the buying and selling of quality heritage poultry in Western Canada.


You are not connected. Please login or register

Oh Cynthia ???

View previous topic View next topic Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

1 Oh Cynthia ??? on Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:26 pm

IzzyD

avatar
Active Member
Active Member
Could you please tell me about your massive sunflowers again Smile
I would love to try some this year but I can't remember the variety.

2 Re: Oh Cynthia ??? on Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:46 am

CynthiaM

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
Izzy, I am wondering which pictures you may have seen of mine which have prompted this thread, can’t be bothered to go looking for it myself, doesn’t really matter, I will show pictures here.  This is an open question, I am sorry, but the sunflowers that grow wild here now at the new home, the variety is unknown.  Daughter planted sunflowers, of some kind, when they moved to this new home.  We moved up, did not bring any sunflower seeds.  What she planted some 6 years ago or so, self-seed every year.  We do not plant any sunflowers, just self-seeded ones grow, everywhere....I can’t really help you too much, but look for sunflower seeds in catalogues.  There are so many beautiful, beautiful varieties.  This year I am adding some that I will be purchasing, we can can have those varieties forever more as well.  When you choose sunflower seeds, choose the ones that bear pollen.  In your case, stay away from the ones that say “sterile”, they will not produce pollen, but will still produce lovely flowers, those can be grown too, the non pollin providing flowers do have their place in the garden -- but you must get the ones that produce pollen.  Also from the sunflowers the honeybees gather the most incredible nectar, which is slow to crystallize, this can be very advantageous to the honeybee keeper, if you can manage this crop, smiling.  I did.  And between honey and cultivar, Blue Fortune, hysopp (agastache), the honey stayed in liquid form for years, smiling again, trust  me, I know, had some wonderful experiences, so many years ago, back on the coast with beekeeping.  You have many vegetable gardens, I know that, and you depend on the pollinators for good crops.  Honeybees are one of the main pollinators and if you plant sunflowers, they will come by the thousands, they will also be around to help with pollination of your other crops too.  Honeybees are lover of the pollen provided by the heads of the sunflowers.  I can’t really help you.  Look at the pictures, maybe looking at the pictures and then comparing pictures in seed catalogues may help you out.  Anyways, enjoy those pictures I am posting regardless.  The big one that my Husband is holding onto is called Russian Mammoth.  I will make a diddy about each picture so look and read.  And..have a wonderful day, CynthiaM.

The first picture I would like to show is one of the main gardens, the sunflowers grow all over the garden here, (everywhere else too) and I cull dramatically, allowing about 8 inches between each seedling to grow.  If they are closer, they crowd too much, and less significant plants will grow.  Of course, miss many a seedling growing, so can get overcrowded.  The sunflowers only grow along the periphery of the gardens.  These are amazing for the honeybees and all the beautiful little birds that come and feast in the fall.  We always, after cutting off many flower heads for horses and chickens, leave many for these critters of the wild, there are thousands of flower heads, so no worries.  With this particular type of sunflower, we always deadhead them, which encourages the grow of new buds and flower heads.  This particular type grows like a shrub with probably 50 or more seed heads, if they were all totalled up.  Amazing.  They even grow in the sand/gravel in the driveway, spread by the very birds themselves I guess and ones that probably stick to our feet and the animals feet too, who knows.....

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

This is how much the will of the seed to germinate is, this is growing in rocky, sandy medium.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

This picture shows a good depiction of before the flowers open

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

A nice picture of the honeybees working a very large flower head, gathering pollen and nectar

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Now we skip back a few years, these pictures were taken back on the wet coast of BC, in Maple Ridge, where we had lived for over 25 years on the property.  This  may be a picture that you were particularly speaking to, I don’t know.  I do know that this variety was called Russian Mammoth and that it was.  The plant basically bears one great big flower head.  Some of the plants grew flower heads that were probably about 24 inches in breadth, and taller than probably the tallest person on earth.  These were amazing, and they provided wonderful sunflowers for shelling, if you could get them before the squirrels.  I can recall many mornings coming out and nothing below the flower head would be but a big pile of shells. At least the squirrels would keep them in a pile, I would laugh, oh and the birds.  The way they would hang off the flower heads was nothing short of amazing.  

This is my Husband standing beside one, the flower head was so big it kind of bent in half, look at this!!

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Look at the size of the almost-bend-in-two flower head!

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

And the stalk was so wide, two hands to actually fit the fingers together for measuring girth!!!

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

3 Re: Oh Cynthia ??? on Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:02 am

IzzyD

avatar
Active Member
Active Member
Oh thank you, thank you!!!
It was those Russian mammoth sunflower pics I was talking about!! Very amazing!
You have shared those pictures before and I found them very inspiring!
Thank you for sharing them again. Now I'm all worked up about spring Smile

4 Re: Oh Cynthia ??? on Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:09 am

CynthiaM

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
Izzy, I thought so. Remember....that Russian Mammoth was growing back on the coast, the WEST WET coast. I don't really know if this mammoth size can be accomplished in our dry climate. Perhaps. Grow and see. They top over 10 feet tall. I think I too shall get some of that seed and give it a whirl. Find an area on your farm where you can irrigate lots, grow them there. I think that they require lots of moisture to produce to this magnitude, but could be wrong. Yes, think I am on a new venue this year too. Can't wait for spring, we got the fever, we got the fever. I am starting leeks today, gonna germinate them in our teeny tiny place and then when the heads poke out, sending the seed tray up to youngest Daughter for her to hopefully grow on for me. She has killed basically my two beloved plants I brought from the coast, so I dunno....but gonna still try. I go up often enough that I could take her hand and help her. Ya, gave her a beautiful giant aloe vera plant, I was neglectful too, but it is almost dead, blick. Shoulda brought it down to oldest Daughter's house. Still might be able to resurrect its poor soul, and the other was a hoya carnosa that I had got as a leaf with a hunk of 1/2 inch stem. Grew that forward for years and had who only knows how many hundreds of feet all ravelled around a big pot. Grew the most beautiful white flowers, that drooped down in umbrels, nectar from those flowers on the plants was such a nuisance as it dripped on the floor, but the scent that permeated the house when it was in flower was something to behold...similar to gardenia. Geeze, I need to save that one too. Oh brother. This was about sunflowers. Anyhow, lets compare notes in late summer as to how the Russian grows for us both. do get the seed, and actually save some for next year, although, bet my bottom dollar you will find they are all over, once you got 'em, you got 'em....forever more, just like dill, and so many other self-seeders, smiling. have a beautiful day, CynthaiM.

5 Re: Oh Cynthia ??? on Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:14 am

CynthiaM

avatar
Golden Member
Golden Member
Oh another thing, never bother to try to grow sunflower seeds by germinating and then transplanting the seedlings. There is nothing to be gained, but work. I have tested that. The seeds that are sowed right in the soil (either covered by a dust of soil, say perhaps 1/2 inch) or right on the surface, (but beware of birds stealing them), grow just as nicely, if not better, because the root is not disturbed, just sow where you want. I had sunflowers germinated in November year before last, look at this!!! Have a wonderful day, CynthiaM.

This was November 4, 2012, goes to show how cool it can be out and the seeds germinate when they feel like it

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

6 Re: Oh Cynthia ??? on Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:24 pm

Echo 1

avatar
Addicted Member
Addicted Member
VERY impressive!

Sponsored content


View previous topic View next topic Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum