Sunday, June 01, 2014

Sunflower Garden at 79 Days Almost 8 Feet

Since I last reported one week ago, on the status of my sunflower garden at 72 days, there has been a lot of stuff happening meteorologically. Last Sunday, we reported 9 plants were well over 72 inches with the tallest single plant at 78 inches tall = 6 ft. 6 in. Today, that tallest single plant is at 93 inches; only three inches shy of 8 ft.! That's fifteen inches of growth in one week.

THE TALLEST SUNFLOWER PLANT

The Tallest Sunflower Plant at 93 inches at 79 days
The Tallest Sunflower Plant at 93 inches at 79 days
Photo Taken: June 1, 2014 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady

SO MUCH WEATHER

What about all that weather? Over the past week, there have been quite a few days of rain along with some pretty heavy winds. Each day, along with the heavy rains, I have seen hail. The hail has been about the size of garbanzo beans and there was quite a bit of it.

Because I was seeing a lot of growth throughout my sunflower garden, along with lots of multiple, large blossoms, the plants were a bit top heavy. Needless to say, the rains and winds ended up taking out several of my larger and smaller plants.

Sunflower Garden Impacted by Wind
Sunflower Garden Impacted by Wind
Photo Taken: May 30, 2014 5:50pm
Sunflower Garden Impacted by Wind
Sunflower Garden Impacted by Wind
Photo Taken: May 30, 2014 5:50pm
You can see in the two previous photos, some of the wind damage to the sunflower garden. I cut out a number of large and small sunflower plants which had been toppled or were bent on the stem. I was able to fill four different vases with a variety of the sunflower blossoms - so that would be the positive!

STAKING THE SUNFLOWER GARDEN

On Friday and Saturday, I started to add garden stakes throughout my sunflower garden after I had cut away many damaged plants. I used three packages of six each, 5 ft. tall garden stakes from K-Mart along with two packages of six each, 5 ft. tall garden stakes from Lowe's. The K-Mart stakes were much nicer than those at Lowe's.

Sunflower Garden Staked at 79 days
Sunflower Garden Staked : Tallest Sunflower Plant at 93 inches at 79 days
Photo Taken: June 1, 2014 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
If you look at the plant right above the blue ceramic flower pot, you can detect the tallest plant at nearly 8 ft. I am so thankful it survived all the wind, rain, and hail. You can also make out the various 5 ft. garden stakes throughout the 4 rows. I used the type of wooden stakes like the Bond 95006 6-Count 5-Feet Hardwood Stakes.

Sunflower Garden Staked at 79 days
Sunflower Garden Staked : Tallest Sunflower Plant at 93 inches at 79 days
Photo Taken: June 1, 2014 by JaguarJulie Ann Brady
When I added the thirty 5 ft. garden stakes throughout the four rows of the sunflower garden, I used two different types of landscaping twine. I ran out of the bright lime green twine and used a forest green twine rather like Gardener's Blue Ribbon 200 Feet Soft Green Garden Twine T028A. I am thankful, in hindsight, that I ran out of the lime green version because the other forest green twine was easier to tie and seemed to make more secure knots.

It took me two days to put in all the garden stakes and an additional morning to finish off with the twine. I pretty much secured all the plants and strung some twine to connect the various garden stakes so that all plants were supported. On the outside edges, I extended the twine from the garden stakes to the metal edging to add extra support.

I am hopeful that the plants will hold up to the wind and not snap the stems! Stay tuned.

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