Conventional wisdom says that the seeds should be either direct seeded after danger of frost, or, in short season regions, started in pots a few weeks earlier, for later transplanting. While saving sunflower seeds as a snack or as bird feed is common, you can also save the seed for replanting the next year. Below is a photo collage of my mother showing us exactly how to plant a sunflower seed directly into the ground with her experienced gardening hands. Fix your sunflower farming budget. Forget the dwarf varieties (which do great in containers), and look for types with words like giant, mammoth, kong, tall, monster, and so on in the either the seed name or description. Gently push the sunflower seed into the soil. The plant produces a large head of seeds that can be saved for planting the following season or … That’s why grass may die beneath your sunflower birdfeeder. If drilling, plant approximately 20 pounds per acre. The Best Time to Plant Sunflower Seeds. Don’t plant too thick, as too many plants will grow and competition will result in a lesser plot. These toxins are harmless to people and eventually break down in soil. Calculate the expenses of seed, fertilizer, nutrients, pesticides and labor costs. This is from mid-April to late May in the Northern United States. Sunflower leaves, stems and seeds release substances that inhibit the growth of certain plants. Contact with the potential buyer of sunflower seed in your locality. Most sunflower varieties need 95-110 frost-free days to produce mature seeds, which means they can grow in zone 5 and warmer. These annual plants are tall, with a height of 8 to 15 feet. Sunflowers seeds run approximately $25 per 10 pounds of seed. Also calculate post-harvesting cost like storage, bagging, etc. First, fix the land area where you will grow a sunflower. Sunflower Farming Business Plan. Slow down plants. To ensure pure seed, grow your sunflowers at least 1/2 mile from any sunflowers grown by your neighbors. Sunflowers can be sown directly into the ground. Once the flower opens, it’ll be a long time before everything has been pollinated and seeds fully develop. Harvesting Sunflower Seeds. Press down firmly. Always hoard a small number of the sunflower seeds that you’re setting out. How to Plant Sunflowers: Place the sunflower seed in the ground. Sunflower seed heads make plants top-heavy and easily toppled with strong winds. Cover the sunflower seed with dirt. 1 Choose the Right Seed. This allows you to grow your favorite sunflower varieties each year without the expense of new seed stock every spring. Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) grow up to 8 feet tall with some cultivars reaching heights of 15 feet. Plant the seeds no more than 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart. The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) grows well in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 1 through 11. Determining when sunflower seeds are ready for harvest can be tricky. If broadcasting, plant about 25 pounds per acre. Step 2 — Plant Sunflower Seeds. This is the most important tip: genetics matter! Planting sunflower seeds. You can plant sunflower seeds directly into the ground after the danger of Spring frost has passed and the soil is thoroughly warmed (soil temperature of 55 to 60 degrees F). A plant population around 50,000 to 75,000 plants per hectare is considered as the best suitable for producing maximum depending on the water availability and sunflower cultivar. You have to start with a variety of sunflower that can grow tall. Also, a proper seed treatment is to be carried out for better germination of sunflower seeds So, that you can achieve a good plant density. Plant seeds and then use a cultipacker to put them at the appropriate depth. The seeds are usually ready for harvest 30 to 45 days after the flower opens, but that depends a lot on the weather. 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