SunflowerGrowing sunflowers from seed isn’t the hardest thing you can do in the garden when you have sunshine pretty much guaranteed every day when you live in Thailand.

I’ve bought small packets of sunflower seeds in the past for about 30 baht. However the cheapest way I found to purchase them is in a big bag from the local pet store which I got to supplement our chickens diet but they didn’t like them. Their loss and the garden’s gain!

Planting Sunflower Seeds

We don’t bother to grow them in pots, instead we soak them in a bowl of water over night and drop them on the ground about 30 cm apart around the outside walls of our house and cover with a little soil and compost. It’s best to plant them by the walls that get sun for most of the day and are sheltered from the wind. We water them sparingly twice a day.

Before you know it, you’ll have rows of beautiful sunflowers shooting for the blue skies. These are great for attracting bees and other beneficial insects to your garden.

The flowers will last a good couple of weeks if not longer before dieing off. Once all the petals have fallen off, it’s time to cut their heads off and leave them out to dry. We also take the leaves of the stems and throw them on the compost heap. The steams we use for growing other plants up link Long Beans and Tomatoes.

Sunflower Seed Bank and Fast food

Once the sunflower heads are thoroughly dried out we harvest the seeds and clean some to roast and eat for a healthy snack high in protein and amino acids, the rest we store for future planting.

Sunflower bud

Sunflower almost ready to bloom

Sunflowers in Bloom

Sunflower - Thailand Sunflowers - Koh Chang

Sunflower Stalks with Leaves

Cut sunflower stalks

Sunflower Stalks Without Leaves

Sunflower stalks ready to be made into a trellis

Drying Sunflowers

Drying sunflower seeds

Sunflowers Drying Out

Sunflower seeds ready to harvest

Sunflower Seeds Drying

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seed bank

Our eagle eyed readers will notice from the photographs we have two sunflower variants. There are actually hundreds of varieties. Generally commercial sunflowers have one flower while the wild varieties have more than one flower. We have a mixture of both and it will be interesting to see if we have any cross pollination between the two in next years crop.

If you have any tips for growing sunflower seeds not mentioned in this post, please share them in the comments below.

Listening to: The Only Way Out – Bush

All Photos taken with Samsung S4 or Canon EOS 650D © Perry Stevens 2015

Growing Sunflowers From Seed

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