The sunflowers is native to North America, meaning able to grow in most climates as long as it gets enough sun. However, the sunflowers are easy to grow in which you do not need to soak the seeds before planting them. To grow them, it’s better for you to germinate the seeds than sowing them in the soil. Why?
By germinating, you will know a number of seeds and counting them which fail to germinate. Aside from that, you can also estimate how many extra seeds to plant which get the desired number of flowers. The way of germinating is a good idea if you are not sure of your seeds age or how they were stored.
Then, how to germinate the sunflowers seeds? Let’s see the ways that we’ll show you below!
The Easiest Steps to Germinate Sunflowers Seeds
According to the University of Minnesota’s Extension Service, it would be better to germinate the seeds indoors in early spring as a great way to stretch a cool-climate growing season. Aside from that, you may also want to try sprouting the seeds to create microgreens during the winter.
If you really want to germinate the sunflowers seeds, here’s how to germinate them!
Step 1: Choosing the Sunflower Seeds
At least, there are two major types of sunflowers seeds. First, the shells of one kind are stripped in white and black and the second one is glossier and all black. The two-tone seeds are the kind meant for snaking. While, the glossier black varieties are oilseed sunflowers which can be used to produce the sunflowers’ oil and commonly sold for birds.
Well, if you want to buy the sunflowers seeds at the garden center, the seeds packets should be identified by type. Here, you just choose the kind of the seeds that you want to grow. While, if you are working with stored or found seeds, you have to identify whether they are for eating or for oil by looking at the shells. However, you will be better to work with the seeds that you get from the reputable garden center.
In choosing the sunflower seeds, make sure that you check the maximum of the sunflower’s height since it ranges from dwarf varieties under 1 foot (30 cm) to giant sunflowers 15 feet (4.6 cm) or taller. So please decide to choose between a sunflower which produces one stalk and flower or one which branches out into multiple stalks with several smaller blooms. However, it’s so impossible to grow the sunflowers from the roasted seeds.
Step 2: Sprouting the Sunflowers Seeds
Once you choose the varieties of sunflowers that you think they’re the best varieties, you can then sprout them in a paper towel. Here, you will need just a few simple household items to start germinating them, the tools here include a paper towel, a plastic bag to slide it into and a felt-tipped marker to label the bag if you are germinating the different types of seeds.
To sprout them, you just simply fold the seeds in a damp paper towel. Moisten a paper towel but not soaking or dripping. Afterwards, you can set out a layer or two of paper towels on your work surface and dampen them. You are able to count an appropriate number of sunflowers seeds and spread them evenly across the paper towel. According to UK-based gardening site, GrowVeg, they suggest using 10 seeds if you are doing for a germinating test as it makes for easy mental math when you calculate your germination percentage.
Afterwards, you can then cover the seeds with another layer of paper towel. Here, you have to mist it gently to moisten it. Then, you can slide the seeds and paper towels into a plastic bag. Please, don’t close the bag tightly as a little bit of air circulation will help prevent rot. Last, you have to place the bag of seeds in a warm spot with indirect sun like the top of your fridge and all you need to do is to wait for the seeds to start growing.
If you have a lot of sunflowers seeds, it’s better for you to straight plant them in the soil. The seeds which are planted directly in the soil will take 11 days to emerge. Moreover, if you have a long growing season, you can try to germinate seeds in batches one or two weeks apart. So you will have blooms in your garden for a longer period of time.
Step 3: Checking the Seeds
The next activities that you should do for the next few days is to check the sunflowers seed. After you leave them alone to do their things, the only way you need to do is a bit of misting with extra water if you see the paper towel seems to be getting dry. To know, the sunflower seeds will germinate in a week or less, so you will not have to be terribly patient.
If you are working to germinate the sunflowers seeds with your kids, you’re also able to open up the paper towels daily to check for progress. According to the Home Science Tools as the kid-oriented site, they report seeing its first roots in as few as three days. By the time six to eight days have passed, you are impossible to see any more sprouts. The point is, if you perform a germination test, you’re able to count the seeds and work out your germination percentage.
Step 4: Planting the Seeds
If the sunflower seeds are sprouting and ready to plant in the soil, you can then start planting them. To plant them, choose on a sunny day and you should check the outdoor temperature. Afterwards, choose the best location which may receive direct sunlight during most of the day.
Then, you should dig a hole 2 feet (0.6 meters) deep to check for hard and compacted soil. Besides, make sure to place them in soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7. Please take a consideration to plant them along a fence or your house or behind some sturdy tree to shield them from the wind.