We had a great first sunflower harvest last summer (2011) and plan to triple the size of our plantings now that we know a bit about it. We grew 20 different varieties of cut sunflowers and successfully explored several different ways to sell them!
The first day of spring 2012 and we already have most of last year’s beds rototilled (to incorporate the wonderful mushroom compost donated last fall) and we are forming a new field for sunflowers … having a great time making the beds in a radial pattern with a big round bed in the center for zinnias… and the whole field looks like a giant sunflower! Makes it all a lot of fun. Michael thinks it looks like crop circles… we are hoping for an alien visit.
Update Fall 2012… What a difference from our first year! Our second season has ended and the beds are cleared. We had constant pressure from weeds, insects and groundhogs this summer, plus some very very hot dry periods without rain… and the sunflowers showed it! We struggled to have enough flowers for the West Grove Market each week, but we I think we can call it a success as far as having a presence in the market and local community. We are looking forward to trying again, after we have reinforced the fence against groundhogs!
Update Winter 2013-14… We don’t think that the snow is ever going to go away. It’s March 2014 and it just snowed again, for the 10th time or so this winter! Last summer, we kept out the groundhogs and deer, our greatest accomplishment. However, we lost our battle to weeds, and once again did not get the dates right for sowing so we had sporadic blooming all summer. Most weeks, we had plenty to sell at market however, and we are thinking of checking out the Kennett Square Market on Fridays this next season.