Sunflower makes the garden look so cheerful and inviting for pollinators or predators.
However, behind that cheery smile on sunflower face, it is almost destine to live all alone without having other companion than its siblings. Plants that grows together with sunflower will have less yield for example sweet corn or the cucurbits (zucchini, melon, cucumber). Sunflower inhibits the growth of potatoes and ginger. Last spring, we planted rows of sunflower at the back of the fence. Lenay planted sprouted potatoes and gingers in between these sunflowers without my knowledge. When we were cleaning up the patch after sunflower has finished their life-cycle to prepare for fall plantings, found many ginger and potato sprouts that are just about to push their new stem out from the soil. Potatoes, ginger and sunflower don't get along together at all.
Since sunflower can grow so tall, I entertain the idea that climbing bean growing beside sunflower can take advantage of using sunflower as trellis. The direct-sowed climbing bean (snake bean) germination was not good and growth were stunted. I tried direct sowing both sunflower and edamame (soy bean) seeds on the same patch but only one bean seeds sprouted whereas sunflower had no such problem. I reckon after 2 trials of growing diffrent variety of bean on the same patch with sunflower, I won't grow them together again anymore. Sunflower is good green manure and compost material. Since we can't use sunflower while they were a living plant as a trellis, we used the stalk now for peas or snow peas trellis during the cool growing season.
I like to fully utilise the space that we have in the garden, can anyone share their success of growing any plants together with sunflower?
What is "Companion Week" and Seed Give-Away visit this post for more information.
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