Just about every winter, I comb through the garden catalogs searching out the shorties to try during the upcoming summer. Altogether I have tried about a half dozen varieties [posted 2009.08.25]. Last year, I never ordered any and can't remember what the reason was.
With no seed for the summer, I made a panic purchase at the local home improvement store when the tulips were blooming. Burpee's Big Blush came home and a spot was reserved along the front driveway. But, I could not find the seed when it came time to plant. "Did I really purchase them?" I wondered. I instead planted the same variety as before that I found in my tin of leftover seed, Waooh [posted 2010.09.02].
I have good results to report from last week. With the frost holding off, one tower began its run. One could guess the dwarf varieties could do this since their growing season is a little shorter than the tall ones. A 40-inch high (1 m) stalk with all sorts of side flowers is blooming. Big Blush flowers are not unique, but the size of the side flowers and their associated stems is, resulting in great cut flowers from one plant.
Was this an anomaly? If not, this could become a habit from now on - something to replace the old sunflowers once they finish their summer blooming. On a second note, the Waooh sunflower seeds were harvested and are most appreciated by chickadees.
For The Record:
Fertile soil & organic amendments
Chomping pests during summer germination
Blooming: Mexican zinnia, zinnia, sunflower, echinacea, pineapple sage
Harvested: 1 pepper, 1 tomato