Sunday, April 01, 2018

Russian Mammoth Sunflowers

This is no April Fools joke! It is April 1, 2018, and I just planted one dozen Russian Mammoth Sunflower seeds. Or, should that be referred to as Mammoth Russian? I feel it is more correct to put the country name first! What do you think about that?

Russian Mammoth Sunflower Blossom
Russian Mammoth Sunflower Blossom
To know me and my writing, is to know that I usually and predominantly use my own photography. However, in this instance, I have yet to grow a Russian Mammoth Sunflower in my own garden. This pretty photo is what you would normally find on the cover of a sunflower seed packet like Burpee's!

Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seeds Planted
Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seeds Planted April 1, 2018
Five Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings
I'm using a starter planter which is my black, long, rectangular planter. It has been fifteen days on the planting of 6 Chianti Hybrid Sunflower seeds in that planter. You can see the 5 such sunflower seedlings which have emerged. Using rubber gloves, I drilled down with my pointer finger to create 12 holes that were more than 1 inch deep and less than 2 inches deep.

Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seeds
Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seeds
I recently purchased a packet of Russian Mammoth Sunflower seeds from an eBay seller located in Saint Peters, Missouri. The eBay listing said 20 seeds, but I think the packet had a quantity nearly double that. These sunflower seeds are reportedly organic, newly harvested, and should produce sunflowers that are 7-10 ft. tall.

Six Days Update - April 7, 2018

Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seedling at 6 Days
Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seedling at 6 Days April 7, 2018
After planting a dozen of the Russian Mammoth Sunflower seeds, it was the 4th day and the seedlings were emerging! On the 5th day, several more.

Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seedling at 6 Days
Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seedling at 6 Days April 7, 2018
By the 6th day, eight of the twelve seeds had sprouted little seedlings. In the rectangular planter, there are five Chianti Hybrid Sunflower seedlings with protective coverings. You can see the unprotected Russian Mammoth Sunflower seedlings that have emerged.

Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seedling at 6 Days
Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seedling at 6 Days April 7, 2018
The Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seedling is in the middle. It is 6 days on that growth, compared to the 3 weeks on the growth of the Chianti Hybrid Sunflower Seedlings in the plastic bottles.

Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seedling at 6 Days
Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seedling at 6 Days April 7, 2018
Measuring the height on the tallest Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seedling, it is a solid 3 inches, if not a bit more. That is impressive!

Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seedling at 6 Days
Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seedling at 6 Days April 7, 2018
Comparing the stems of the Russian Mammoth Sunflower Seedlings to the Chianti Hybrid, it is interesting to see the differences. The Russian Mammoth stems are all green white the Chianti Hybrid has a bit of reddish color at the base. Additionally, the Russian Mammoth stems look a bit more solid for the early growth.

GROWTH PROGRESS OF THE RUSSIAN MAMMOTH SUNFLOWERS


Russian Mammoth Sunflower at 23 Days April 24, 2018
Russian Mammoth Sunflower at 23 Days April 24, 2018
Russian Mammoth Sunflowers at 34 Days May 5, 2018
Russian Mammoth Sunflowers at 34 Days May 5, 2018
Russian Mammoth Sunflower Split Stalks at 38 Days May 9, 2018
Russian Mammoth Sunflower Split Stalks at 38 Days May 9, 2018
As I observed the growth progress of the Russian Mammoth Sunflowers through April and into May, I saw the leaves were being eaten by some bugs. It seemed the bugs favored the Russian Mammoth over the Chianti Hybrid!

Earwig Bug Trap Jar in Sunflower Garden on May 9, 2018
Earwig Bug Trap Jar in Sunflower Garden on May 9, 2018
I installed an earwig bug trap jar for several days to see if I would snag a bug or two. I have yet to determine what type of bugs are at work. With thunderstorms forecasted for Central Florida, I removed the jar and stake.

Russian Mammoth Sunflower 35 inches tall at 41 Days May 12, 2018
Russian Mammoth Sunflower 35 inches tall at 41 Days on May 12, 2018
Sunflower Garden at 55 and 41 Days on May 12, 2018
Sunflower Garden at 55 and 41 Days on May 12, 2018
The sunflower garden enclosure has stayed in place to keep the bunnies and squirrels from nibbling. I had debated removing the rug pads from the sides of the enclosure, but decided to keep it there. Thus far, the only nibbling on the plant has come from some nocturnal leaf bugs!

Sunflower Garden at 63 and 49 days on May 20, 2018
Sunflower Garden at 63 and 49 days on May 20, 2018
The tallest sunflower is the Chianti Hybrid at 59 inches. The Russian Mammoth are actually 14 days behind on age, but catching up nicely on the growth.

Brown Bunny checking out Sunflowers May 19, 2018
Brown Bunny checking out Sunflowers May 19, 2018
The evening of May 19th, the brown bunny was nearby for the longest time, wondering how it might get into that sunflower enclosure. I'm sure it could SMELL it!!

Sunflower Garden at 69 and 55 days on May 26, 2018
Sunflower Garden at 69 and 55 days on May 26, 2018
Russian Mammoth Sunflowers in Front Yard Garden June 2, 2018
Russian Mammoth Sunflowers in Front Yard Garden June 2, 2018
To know me and my sunflowers is to know that I am always thinking about them and hoping the bunnies and squirrels don't take them out!! I planted several more in the rectangular container and then put them in the ground in the front yard ... a real leap of faith it was! Well, now, after watching them and nurturing them, you can see three of them are advancing in growth. I'm guessing the tallest one is easily 2 feet or maybe more!

Sunflower Garden at 78 and 64 days on June 4, 2018
Sunflower Garden at 78 and 64 days on June 4, 2018
All five of the Chianti Hybrid sunflowers are blossoming with some incredible flowers. Recently, the Russian Mammoth sunflowers kicked in and started having major growth spurts. There is one in particular that is really growing and nearly the height of the house. At 64 days, I can see buds forming on the tops of the sunflowers.

For more information on the Russian Mammoth Sunflower, be sure to check out the Burpee website. And, bookmark this blog post as I will be updating it with my progress growing these mammoth sunflowers! Let's keep our fingers crossed that it is indeed a mammoth experience!