Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sunflower Seedlings Emerging in Six Days

On Thursday morning, March 20, 2014, I spied my first little sunflower seedlings emerging. Since I wasn't using a seed starting kit this year, I opted to plant my sunflower seeds directly into the soil, just a bit deeper. So, six days seems reasonable when looking for sunflower seedlings to break through the soil.

First Sunflower Seedling of 2014 by JaguarJulie
First Sunflower Seedling of 2014 ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: March 20, 2014
You can see that humble first sunflower seedling in the photo. You get an idea of how small it was when you compare it to the teal green round fertilizer granules from the Sta-Green Potting Mix.

Over the next few days, I started to see more and more seedlings emerging. In fact, I was seeing areas with too many sunflower seedlings coming up. I knew I would have to cull them out once they got bigger.

HOLD THE PHONE!

Sunflower Seedlings Dug Up JaguarJulie 2014
Sunflower Seedlings Dug Up ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: March 22, 2014
You know that expression, "be careful what you ask for?" The morning of March 22nd, when I stepped out my patio door, I couldn't believe my eyes! In the first row of sunflower seedlings, the row nearest the house, I saw a critter had been digging like crazy. If you look closely, you can see many little sunflower seedlings lying "helter skelter" on the ground.

I put on my yellow rubber gloves and gathered up the seedlings and buried them back in the row, covering them with the dirt and potting mix.

OH NO! NOT AGAIN!!

Sunflower Seedlings Dug Up Again JaguarJulie 2014
Sunflower Seedlings Dug Up Again ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: March 23, 2014
The next morning of March 23rd, I was actually awake at a little past 3:00 am. I took my flashlight and checked the rows of the sunflower garden. So far, so good as no more digging. A little later, around 3:40 am, Boots the cat got up and headed for the patio. I followed her with my flashlight. Yep! The critter had returned. This time, it dug up about the same amount of area, but it was the second row!

Once again, I put on my rubber gloves and gently reburied all those little seedlings. And, I thought to myself, "boy oh boy, I sure can't handle this every morning!" I'm not sure what critter is doing all this digging, but I am guessing it is either a raccoon or opossum as I've seen both at my back door over the years.

Well, there were no diggings on March 24th or March 25th. However, on the morning of March 26th, I saw a small area of the second row had been hit again. Check out a few more pictures of more diggings.

Sunflower Seedlings in the Four Rows JaguarJulie 2014
Sunflower Seedlings in the Four Rows ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: March 26, 2014
There's a view of the four rows of sunflower seedlings on the morning of the 12th day. The row on the far right was the last row in which I planted the sunflower seeds. It seems to have the most seedlings emerging. Since the seedlings started to emerge, I've been keeping the garden rows moist, which means one watering can per row three times per day.

SUNFLOWER SEEDLINGS IN A CLUMP!

Sunflower Seedlings in a Clump JaguarJulie 2014
Sunflower Seedlings in a Clump #1 ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: March 26, 2014
Sunflower Seedlings in a Clump JaguarJulie 2014
Sunflower Seedlings in a Clump #2 ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: March 26, 2014
See those two last pictures of the sunflower seedlings in a "clump?" That means there are way too many seedlings coming up in the same area. If the critter continues to dig in my sunflower garden, I may not need to worry about separating those seedlings once they get bigger.

I have to tell you that I have too many little seedlings in one area because I deliberately planted more seeds in the rows. You see, in The Sunflower Project, I had distributed hundreds of my harvested sunflower seeds to participants. However, I only heard back from ONE participant, Lynda, that she was able to grow sunflowers from my seeds.

This year, I gave a few packets of sunflower seeds to Nelson at Baileys Powerhouse Gym. Chatting with him this morning, he also said that he is going to have to cull out the seedlings once they get bigger because he was seeing about 2 dozen in a small area.

It sure is heartwarming and very satisfying to plant sunflower seeds in the garden and watch them emerge as little sunflower seedlings. Have you tried a sunflower garden for yourself? I'd love to hear about it! P.S. Did you see my previous blog post about Planting My Second Sunflower Garden?


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