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silly question I can't seem to find the answer to online..I'm going to plant a variety of things in my backyard food plot. One of them is sunflowers. I have a 10lb bag of them. Do I have to plant them one seed at a time? A few per "hole"? I know I need to space them as they will hopefully grow large and tall but that will take all day to plant them one seed at a time. I don't have any special machines or tools. Any help would be appreciated.
I planted a three acre field one year. They did very well from simply tilling, broadcasting, and dragging.
I had good results doing it just like Robear. GL.
We planted about 1-1/2 acres of sunflowers this year with a grain drill.This will be our third year and there is a learning curve. Sunflowers don't like to be crowded;so if you broad-cast go light and space them out and cultipack or roll in. Weed control is a must and a pre-emergent is recommended;we use Prowl.Cannot use a round-up type of weed control after plants are up.
Thanks guys! I will prepare a weed free seed bed, fertilize/lime etc and try broadcasting lightly. Otherwise I'll be planting one at a time for months haha
Sunflowers are super easy! These were grown by spraying gly, broadcasting seed, then mowing the dead vegetation down over the seed. Zero dirt work or planters were used. I don't even have a spreader that handles sunflower seed so I just take a bucket of seed and walk along throwing it by hand. Or even better is to give a couple of kids buckets of seed and tell them to have a seed fight... just have to stay in bounds. If you've never grown sunflowers you may end up disappointed if you don't protect them. Deer absolutely love to eat them and getting a stand to mature can be difficult.
I broadcasted mine with my three point spreader, no agitator.
Very easy I have an acre of peredovik sunflowers just disked the ground sowed them my atv spreader and lightly disked them in 25 lbs does an acre good luck.they take about 100 days to mature Lewis
awesome to hear! I was getting frustrated for nothing lol I am planting a variety of crops so I hope the variety will keep the deer from devastating any one crop but understand they love sunflowers. Along with them I'm planting mean bean crush which is cowpeas, lablab and soybeans, a large tract of beets and greens, clover and winter rye. A deer smorgasbord!
I like your mix of plants! Even if the deer do eat them down they won't be wasted... there is good protein and nutrition in sunflowers and they will be eating them during antler and milk production months.
I am also surrounded by dairy farms with mostly corn, alfalfa/hay and some beans so I'm hoping they don't deplete all my crops!
I mixed mine with beans and they did great.
So I sprayed my acre future food plot with 41% glyphosate with the appropriate ratio of glyo/water and even added a surfactant. I actually went a little heavy on the glyo..I did this Saturday, it was a sunny dry day. Sunday and Monday were as well. I went to see it yesterday and it seemed as lush and green as it was before I sprayed it!? I read it can take 7-10 days to kill but figured it would've started to wither and yellow!? It is only grass/lawn that I'm trying to kill off. Should I be worried?
Gly is definitely slow to take effect. Don't worry. 3 days is too soon. Right now that green stuff is protecting your seeds from birds. The seed will take hold after a rain and the Gly will be killing that stuff dead (brown/withered but maybe not fallen over) in the next few days.
You can sometimes have issues with a plant not taking up glyphosate if sprayed on a hot dry day in the middle of the day. I doubt that happened in your case, but it is possible. If nothing is happening in another two days, I would re-apply. In addition, more mature plants/weeds tend to take a bit more time to really brown up.
I’ve sprayed some different stuff around the house twice now in the last couple months and each time I remember looking at it three or so days after I sprayed and thought that it didn’t take. Then 4 to 5 days later, the stuff was completely zapped. Give it a couple more days matt. Go snuggle with that baby boy of yours, the gly will do it’s thing
Glyphosate can take up to 2 weeks to really see its effects on certain plants. I wouldn’t get in too big of a hurry to reapply it just yet, Matt.
Ok thanks for the reassurance guys, I haven't done anything except for apply the sauce so far..wanted to till it this wknd assuming the grass was yellow and wilted. The PH read 7-7.5 in all the corners of the plot on a cheapo PH reader. If that is the case should I still lime? I snuggle with that boy every chance I get!
Those pH meters are worthless in my experience.
Planted sunflowers with cowpeas and lablab. Broadcast the peas and lablab then broadcasted the sunflowers with a hand spreader. Worked great.
Ya I'm not too confident in the handheld PH meter...my neighbor is a farmer and our land touches..he's got corn planted right next to my land. He said it's usually 5-7. I'll lime and fertilize anyways. Thanks guys!
Sunflowers will attract plenty of game, can't go wrong if you ask me.
I used to buy ag sunflowers and spent s lot of money. Now I go buy a huge bag for $15 at Orschlens and the grow great. I just broadcast them after discing
How's them weeds looking Matt?
Some dead/yellow and a few strips I must have missed..I can see why guys add dye to their mix! haha I sprayed again this wknd and started tilling where it was dead. I broke the rear axle on my quad so I'm gonna have to wait to till the rest until I get that fixed. I hope to have seeds in by mid month. I'll post pics as I get moving.
Were getting there..I have my son and my time is very limited so I get done what I can when I can. Hoping to have seeds in the ground this upcoming wknd
little bit more to till...
This is a pano pic from an iphone and Boone ran through so he looks kind of funny
Great results! Keep us posted.
I also live in Ohio And cant get sunflowers to knee high always devoured
Ya I'm hoping to get a few to grow tall but am aware they may not make it...with the variety I'm planting and all the surrounding corn and beans I'm hoping a few grow tall! I'm not really prepared for a fence so we'll see what happens and at least I'll be providing nutrition for them and get them coming round!
seeds are in! Just need some rain!
Pano pic! Love food plotting!
It is addictive! Good luck!
Beets n greens are coming in thick!
the mean green crush isn't coming in as thick but looks to be coming in nice and evenly.
I have the sunflowers in a strip down the middle and one side of the plot and they seem to be growing nicely as well. Already have game coming into the plot. Deer, turkeys, many birds and even groundhogs!
Planning on broadcasting some clover and winter rye in any bare ground in early September
Picture was 1 1/2 weeks ago...4 acres of buckwheat and sunflowers. Buckwheat starts dropping seeds at 10 weeks to start attracting dove. Then the sunflowers take over. No herbicide used here, and Just some N.
Matt you should consider broadcasting the WR and clover over the entire plot not just the thin bare areas. You can never have enough root structures growing in the soil.
I will do that RIT! Nice looking plot Junior!
I’ve been following this with interest. A couple weeks ago I worked up a plot and planted sunflowers with some other seed mixed in. Here it is a few days later. We have some good rains at the right time.
This picture is the very next day after first picture
Junior, great dove plot!
Looking good Matt.
They are planted thick and as you can see by the size of the flower, we are lacking rain. Kinda wish I had planted a thinner stand. Just never know what mother nature will provide as far as rain.
Glad we held back on the N or they would be smoked!
I disced and broadcasted these "birdseed" sunflowers in June and they came up great.
Beets n greens are looking great!
mean bean crush looks like a low germination rate..maybe 30%. Both sides of plot prepared exactly the same. I have the sun flowers growing along one side and a strip down the middle
I'm not a fan of the crush seed! Idk whats up with them but have seen several poor stands. It's expensive to. You can buy commercial seed for half the price easily. Beets and greens looking Awesome!
Understand that there is no magic in those hyped up deer head bags. Everything about them is designed by marketing people, not agronomists. All they do is take seeds bought from a distributor and then mix them together as if there’s some secret formula. And when they have leftover seeds they send them in subsequent years until the inventory is gone.
I just got my seeds delivered today by a distributor and I have no concerns that it’s quality, fresh seeds.
I’m not a fan of seed blends, either. If the different seeds in the blend are approximately the same size, I’m fine with that, but usually there are some variety of seeds in those blends that are considerably larger than the rest of it. The hopper door has to be opened wide enough to allow the biggest seeds to feed out. You have to haul ass to get it all spread on your plot, or else the small seeds feed out way too quickly. I just finished seeding a brassica mix plot this evening. Turnips, Winfred brassicas, radishes, etc. I did the brassica mix first, then seeded the radishes after, as they were slightly bigger seeds.
Also, I wouldn’t give the Busbice clan a dime of my money, Lee & Tiffany notwithstanding.
Yep, do your own blends and broadcast by seed size.
Great advice and I've heard about the "name brand seeds" not being so great...I just liked the variety. I will likely buy no name brand seeds moving forward. Idk the busbice boys were related...I'm not a fan of them either haha. I may have to get the clover and rye down sooner before the grasses take over. Think I should do that or wait till late Aug/Sept?
Matt....I would wait till the end of August before seeding your rye/clover. IMO, the rye would get fairly tall and somewhat less palatable to the deer, if you plant it now vs late August. If you’re concerned about the grass taking over, you could spray it with glyphosate just prior to, or immediately after seeding.
IDK how that grass is growing..I sprayed (twice) and tilled the plot well but where the mean bean crush isn't growing, I see lots of grass growing. Can I spray the mean bean crush side of the plot with glyo? Do you know if it will hurt that? There are strips sunflowers in there as well I don't want to hurt. Should I just spray the grass and try my best to avoid anything I want to grow? I know certain seeds are resistant to glyo but not sure what..
There are always new weed seeds that will sprout, even after spraying (depending on what herbicides you use), especially if you sprayed and tilled your plot after that. Most likely, the glyphosate would kill all of the plants in the MBC and your sunflowers as well. If you’re wanting to save the existing plot plants, your best option would probably just be to spot spray the weeds in your plot, and then seed your rye and clover before a good rain, if possible. You can broadcast into your existing sunflowers and MBC as well. If you get decent moisture, you’ll get some additional growth there as well.
Sweet I might try cleth on the grasses. That should kill the grass but leave the others. I'm hoping anyways. I'll do exactly that, broadcast through out the whole MBC half anyways right before forecasted rain
You need to check and see if there is any residual from using the clethodim. I’m not sure if there is for certain. If there is, it will affect your rye, as it is a grass. Hopefully, someone who knows for sure, will chime in on this. You almost have to be a chemist anymore, Matt! ;-)
+1.....30 day wait for anything in the grass family after clethodim! Right on the label.
thanks guys! I spot sprayed with the glyo as I had it on hand. I've got cleth on order. When it comes, I'll hit it and plant the rye 30 days later and the clover prob just before a good rain.
Everything you ever wanted to know about food plots you will find at my link. An absolute goldmine of info.
Couldn’t agree more, Scrappy. The late Paul Knox (Doubletree) was definitely a wealth of information.
I sure miss Paul! I drove 14 hours to Iowa to meet with Paul at his home/property.
Spending a day with him was like getting my PhD in habitat and Critter Stewardship!!
A true gentleman Steward for sure!!!
So the beets n greens half of the plot is looking absolutely amazing and it's been a month. The mean bean crush only germinated I'd say 30% and I have lots of crab grass growing. I sprayed all the grass with Cleth saturday. Do you think it's too early to broadcast white clover? I will wait till Sept to broadcast the winter rye as a few have mentioned already. The deer are hammering the sunflowers haha as most have said they would. I'm hoping a few are able to grow!
The sunflowers are along the edge of the plot and are a bit taller. You can see the crab grass and bare dirt.
A few suggested broadcasting the clover and rye over the entire plot which I would love to do. With the beets n greens being so thick, will seeds even hit the dirt!?!?
Sunflowers are getting tall and the deer haven't eaten them all!
I never mentioned but I also have 4 heavy producing apple trees on my property as well! Apples are constantly falling...
Started an elevated platform this wknd
The cleth started killing off the growing crab grass. I will broadcast clover in a week or 2 then the winter rye in late sept or even october. So I'll have soy beans, cow peas, lab lab, clover, winter rye, sunflowers, beets and greens and loads of apples! Think its a great mix!
Things are looking good, Matt!
Be careful when you’re hunting from that elevated stand. Looks like it would be easy to slip off of it ;-)
Awesome Matt! Should be a huge draw, especially later on!
haha yes I'll be sure and fix that Troy! Very happy so far with the plot!
this pic was taken last thursday with Boone dog for reference
this was yesterday...one week the sunflowers grew a foot!
I bet they bloom anyday now
very happy with my plot thanks for all the help guys!
Looking good matt. Keep the pics coming!
enough apples to make 40 apple pies!
First one so far!!! Look close you can see a bee pollinating!
Some of the sunflowers are 4-5' tall! Lots more about to bloom!
The mean bean crush really has taken off lately..I'm going to broadcast white clover through out the plot Sunday as there is some possible rain fore casted then.
Boone dog running through the plot haha
I am getting pics of deer in the plot but overall they haven't eaten hardly any but when harvest time comes and things die off, I am confident they will hit it hard!
Well I feel it's safe to say the plot was a success and the sunflowers are just so fun to look at!
Elevated platform for my blind is done and sturdy as a rock
My thread seems to have lost interest haha question about my planting dates...I planted all my seeds in mid July. For my zone that was the earliest I could plant them. I'm wondering if the greens will be past maturity and not as palatable to the deer come Oct/Nov/Dec?? I know many fall plots have been planted in Aug/Sept.
Very nice! Only problem with any food plot imo is acorns during September. It seems when they start dropping the plot goes vacant. Idk much about greens, but timing is always a challenge no matter what your growing. We definitely try for staggered plant dates with beans. Our deer usually pick young tender over older plants .
Ok thanks guys ya acorns usually scatter deer but they haven't hit my plot too hard yet due to being surrounded by farm country..beans n corn all around. Hoping when harvest comes and things die off my plot will become more appealing to them. Just wondering if the greens will be as palatable as if I had planted them mid august or later even. Prob overthinking it but I'm happy with it regardless. I worked hard on it a few hours here and there. I certainly have a variety planted.
We had a decent dove hunt on our sunflower field. And our bears love it.