Sunflowers are for everyone

Every time spring arrives I’m reminded of the reason I moved to Maine in the first place. You haven’t experienced Maine if you haven’t experienced spring in Maine. As an avid gardener and hobby farmer, I get lots of questions from neighbors trying to start their own backyard gardens. I love gardening and I love helping people, so, naturally, I’m keen to help out.

Interestingly, a number of friends have asked specifically about growing giant sunflowers. This is probably because I have about 150 of them growing in a long row as a natural fence on my property line!

For me, sunflowers serve two primary purposes: privacy and beauty. They provide privacy as a natural fence (for only about 3 months of the year though) and they provide beauty for an even shorter amount of time 🙂 However, the journey is worth it to me. Here are some reasons I recommend everybody try growing sunflowers this year.

(1) Sunflowers are easy to grow

Sunflowers are one of the easiest plants to grow. They’re almost as easy to grow as weeds! In fact, I once had a neighbor who saw sunflowers as just that: weeds. 🙂 While they aren’t weeds, they do deplete the soil of nutrients, so be sure to treat your soil each year to ensure proper nutrients are in place.

(2) Sunflowers are fun for kids

I have kids, and they love taking care of the sunflowers. Part of the reason they love it is because it’s so easy. All you have to do is water them once a day 🙂

Another reason sunflowers are great for kids, is they grow quickly. Kids enjoy helping in the process because they can can quickly see the fruits of their labors.

(3) Sunflowers make for great photos

Trust me, as someone who raises 150 sunflowers, people LOVE to take pictures of these beautiful, massive flowers.

(4) Sunflowers are in bloom just in time to usher in a beautiful autumn

If the first reason I love Maine is for her springs, the second reason is for her autumns. And what better way to add ambiance to your yard’s autumn feel than to have ripened sunflowers and pumpkins!

So, whether you’re an experienced green thumb like me or a novice like my neighbor, the truth is, sunflowers have a place in everyone’s garden portfolio. Be sure to get an early start, though. If you wait beyond mid June for planting, you may see frost damage in fall before plants reach full maturity.

Happy planting!