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Giant Black Mammoth Russian Sunflower

Black Mammoth Sunflower

Sunflower

$ 2.79

Giant heads loaded with shiny black sunflower seeds

  • Also known as Giant Black Mammoth Sunflower
  • Towering stalks stretch up to 10' tall
  • Enormous heads reaching 12" in diameter
  • Attractive to birds and other wildlife
  • 110 days to maturity

MORE ABOUT GIANT BLACK MAMMOTH SUNFLOWER:

(Helianthus annuus) A variety well-deserving of its name.  Towering 8-10' tall plants produce giant flowers reaching up to 12" in diameter.  At maturity, the giant heads are loaded with hundreds of glossy black seeds.  We like to toss a few mature heads to our chickens and watch them circle around it frantically gobbling down seeds before the neighboring hen gets them.  Fun for everyone.  110 days to harvest.  50 seeds per pkt.

GROWING INFORMATION:

ECOLOGY: Sunflowers are profuse producers of nectar, supporting honeybees and a variety of native bees.  They also attract a plethora of other insects including ladybugs, moths, spiders and butterflies.  The seeds of sunflowers support a number of foragers including deer, mice chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits and of course, birds.  Among birds, sunflower seeds are commonly used to attract Cardinals, Blue Jays, finches and titmice.

CULTURE:  Sunflowers are widely adapted to a variety of climates and are especially tolerant of cold temperatures.  Sunflowers will flourish in a wide variety of soil types, from clay to sandy, so long as sufficient nitrogen is available throughout the growing season.  The water requirements of sunflowers are similar to those of other field crops.  Plants should be irrigated if drought occurs within 20 days of pollination as this period is especially critical for seed development.

SOWING: After danger of frost has passed, sow seeds 6" apart, 1/2" deep in rows 36" apart.  Germination will occur in 6-10 days.  Thin to one plant every 24" once seedlings have reached six inches tall. 

INSECT PESTS: While there are a number of insects that will feed on sunflowers, treatment is usually not warranted.  Sunflowers rely on bees for pollination, so caution should be taken when using any insecticide, whether naturally derived or chemical.

DISEASES AND PROBLEMS:  Sunflowers are susceptible to a number of common diseases including verticillium wilt, mildew, leaf spot, and rust.  However, the extent of these diseases is usually not of consequence to the home gardener.  Ensuring adequate airflow by thinning plants to the recommended spacing will reduce the incidence of disease and cultural practices such as crop rotation, tillage and removal of plant debris in the fall will limit its spread.  

HARVEST AND STORAGE:  When harvesting fresh cut flowers, cut the main head just before it blooms to encourage additional blooms on side shoots.  Harvesting flowers in the morning will prevent premature wilting.  When growing sunflowers for seed, it is important to cover the flower heads with fine mesh or row cloth before the seeds mature in order to prevent predation by birds.

SAVING SEEDS: Sunflowers are outbreeding plants, relying on bees and other insects for their pollination.  Varieties may be self-compatible or self-incompatible, meaning that pollen must be moved from one plant to another.  Plants of different varieties must be isolated by 1/2 to 3 miles, depending on the population size and insects in the area, to maintain varietal purity.  Hand pollination can be performed by bagging heads and rubbing the flowers of adjacent plants together each day for 10 consecutive days.  Heads should be re-bagged after pollination.

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Black Mammoth Sunflowers

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