March 19, 2014

The Sunflower post I've been meaning to write

We have sunflowers aplenty in our veggie garden at the moment.
all part of a planned 'experiment' in improving the soil for the future planning of our winter vegetables.

The shadehouse was emptied of last season petty remnants.  A soil test followed and some missing minerals were added.   Husband rotary hoed it, then planted basically this mix.
Wild bird seed from the produce.  I had a 20kg bag already purchased for feeding the lorikeets.  I realise that feeding wild birds may be a contentious issue, but we do it sparingly (might not seem so with a 20kg bag I know).

Husband sneaked out a few kilos of it and hand sowed it straight into the freshly dug up soil.
before long it started to look like this
and the outside area had been planted up as well.  It was no surprise that this section took off more.
inside the shadehouse is now pretty crowded and it's difficult to get a good photo
however, outside is just blooming. There are other varieties growing as well - sorghum, maize, millet I think  - but obviously the sunflowers dominate.
The place is alive with bees at the moment. 
and  I've found that sunflowers last very well as cut flowers.
However, the sunflower garden is about to meet its' demise.  This weekend is scheduled as cut and plough time. The main purpose of this was to enrich the veggie garden as a green mulch.  I imagine the chooks will love getting in there once it's cut!  Lots of insects and goodies for the short time they will be allowed in.

It's been an interesting (bright and colourful) experience.  However I'm also looking forward to the winter veggie garden and all that it brings.  I haven't really enjoyed this summer - it's been way too hot!

I'm not really one for the garden in summer, so I haven't been outside much at all, but I have been doing some decluttering - which has to be a good thing.  To be honest I haven't had much enthusiasm for that either. Bring on the cooler weather here in SE Qld sometime soon please!!

cheers for now


Fiona from Arbordale Farm said...

What a cheerful sight. I am with you on the heat and I cannot wait for it to be gone.

Claire said...

How lovely to see all that greenery in the garden Wendy and I just loooooove those Sunflowers.....
Mine put on a very sparse display this year and the sparrows got in and ate the seeds from the flower heads before I could give them to the chookies
Our Summer was also very hot and the garden suffered, so looking forward to Autumn rain.

Claire x

duchess_declutter said...

Yes Fiona - roll on Winter, or even Autumn will do!

duchess_declutter said...

Hi Claire - I had a feeling you might be fond of sunflowers! I thought the birds would be interested, but maybe our flowers aren't matured enough. In that case, pity they will be cut down before their prime. Will have to try them somewhere else. Not much rain here, only enough to keep the dam pump working for watering said sunflowers. Still hoping for some rain, but think we're in for a dry winter. cheers Wendy

librarygirl said...

What an interesting experiment, with bonus gorgeous flowers!

Kim said...

Your sunflowers are just lovely!What a great idea.

Ock Du Spock said...

Wow, look at those sunflowers! They're amazing!