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Day #17 – Seeds: Sunflowers and Sunny Grass

Today’s 20 minutes largely involved seeds.

At the center of our round bed, we traditionally plant sunflowers. We like the strong “vertical interest” that sunflowers add to our largely flat yard. Not to mention the color. We keep the sunflowers from falling over with a length of chicken wire supported by a couple metal posts. The wire used to be the frame for our compost pile. Sometime soon I’ll write about the fancy copper gate / trellis I’m going to build for the sunflowers — I’ve been planning it and scavenging materials for it literally for years!) Sunflowers are also a sentimental favorite because my Grandma grew them.

We bought a package of sunflower seeds a few years back and every year since we’ve simply saved the seed heads and consolidated the volunteers that grow elsewhere in the yard. We always get enough to share a few with the wildlife. This year there were a large number of seedlings near the back of our yard, a good 25′ from where we plant the sunflowers. I figure a squirrel made off with a seed head and only ate through half of it. We made a few holes and transplanted our seedlings over to the area. Then I blanketed the area with the leftover seed from last year. We just collect the seed heads from the sunflower in an old bushel basket and set it aside in our basement. The heads become very dry and are easily crumbled. To minimize the number of squirrels at least who eat the seed, I spread a few generous handfuls of dried blood. This won’t keep away the birds but I hope they have better sources of nutrition by this time in the season.

I also spread a bit of the grass seed I bought. I had stored many items from the old barn (including much of the salvageable wood from the barn itself) under a tarp in the yard and this killed a nice broad swath of grass. I realize it’ll take several attempts to re-seed it but I wanted to get started. I realize now I didn’t do all the things one’s “supposed” to do when planting grass seed: I didn’t rake up the soil; I didn’t water the seed… I won’t be losing too much sleep over it though.

This doesn’t sound like much but I swear this took 20 minutes!

Posted in • Growing.