Sunflower and/or pumpkin help needed!

@vera5d (4006)
United States
June 18, 2008 9:49pm CST
My husband is crazy about growing pumpkins and sunflowers...but for some reason just can't get them to grow well! First we had to build a fence around everything because otherwise the deer & other animals will eat it all. He started everything in those little seedling cups and planted 100 sunflowers (oh my!) in our yard. Some look good, others look like they are drooping. Some are being eaten by bugs while others are not. We water them once a day and they are in full sun for most of the day. He also fertilzied them & planted them in potting soil mixed with rocky dirt. What can we do to help these 100 shabby looking sunflowers? He is also on the quest to grow pumpkins. They were thriving until the other day when they just seemed to die overnight! They are in a mostly full sunny spot and were watered every other day. He thought about buying plants already started to replace them, but at the nursery he visited they were covered with mold, which is another problem he has never really been able to figure out. He wants to plant more from seeds but I wonder it might be too late? We are in PA, so our climate in unpredicatble. Last week it was hot sunny and 95 degrees out. This week I am wearing a sweater because it is only 60 degrees! Any tips for helping his sunflowers or pumpkins? I appreciate it!
3 responses
@Emma30587 (402)
22 Jun 08
I grow sunflowers every year and I havent had any problems yet so I think of two things, but I could be wrong.. I think maybe the 100 sunflowers may be a bit cramped up and fighting for growing space. So I think you may need to thin them out. And the only other thing I can tell you, to stop them from drooping is too suppor them with cane sticks. Place a cane stick at the back of the sunflower and tie it with some garden wire or rope. Do it quiet slack though so the wire will start to grow in to the stem and cut it in half, also, change the wire every few weeks as the stems start to get thicker
@vera5d (4006)
• United States
23 Jun 08
I think they are planted too close together too, I will make hubby read this, lol. We haven't even gotten them to the drooping point yet! They are still pretty short! Thanks for the suggestion!
23 Jun 08
No problem! glad I could help!
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
19 Jun 08
I love sunflowers and usually eat them as sprouts, only I think they call them "greens" -- either way. I may try to grow some sunflowers aeroponically on our porch over the mild Arizona winter. Dunno if it would work, but it doesn't cost much to try as we always have raw sunflower seeds on hand. I cannot help regarding growing things in dirt because that is something I am not very good at. Good luck!
@vera5d (4006)
• United States
20 Jun 08
That's okay, we apparently aren't very good at growing things in air, water or dirt! Though I do have a little jade plant I've managed to keep alive for a few years now - sometimes I swear that thing is plastic! I ignore it, forget about it, once in awhile remember to water it, and it still keeps growing :)
@Kaeli72 (1230)
• United States
19 Jun 08
I am SO the last one to give advice about growing green things since I've just replaced my mother's #1 position in the family for the plant killer...but here's my idea: With the 100 sunflowers, I'm guessing the land might be stressed from all of that growing? No? dumb idea. Pumpkins...in the book "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder, she describes Almonzo and father taking the vine of one of the pumpkins, cutting just a tiny sliver lengthwise and feeding a plain wick from that cut into some milk. For some reason, it grew so big that he won that year's fair. But, onto your problem. You mentioned bugs...perhas your land is so infested that it needs help. Or, perhaps your land is too stressed (not resting from too much use). I know I'm not much help, but I too love sunflower seeds and pumpkins. My family never tried growing pumpkins, but one year we did sunflowers and it turned out beautifuly. (I live in the Sonoran Desert).
@vera5d (4006)
• United States
19 Jun 08
those are good suggestions...no worry, i know nothing about these plants either! We have never planted there before, so I don't think it is stressed - and we don't really have much trouble with bugs, I think it is just because we live in the woods maybe? That pumpkin thing sounds interesting - I will pass that along to my hubby, I think he is willing to welcome any suggestions ay yjos point! Though he's having trouble just getting the vine to grow!