Monday, April 25, 2011

Solitary Sunflower

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?

Thank you for linking.

23 comments:

Mark Willis said...

I would have expected the potatoes, beans and sunflower combo to be a good one. Sounds like the "Three Sisters" combo of corn, beans and squash.

Marie said...

What beautiful sunflowers! They're so tall and gigantic. Love how cheerful they look.

-Marie

texas_sweetie said...

sunflowers are beautiful, you made them more beautiful by the way you capture them esp.the first photo.

my MYM is up, please check it out here Easter Egg Hunting

Sunray Gardening said...

I love sunflowers but you do have to have the space for the height. Very nice photos.
Cher
Goldenray Yorkies

~Holly~ said...

I love the first photo!! Gorgeous sunflowers!!

RNSANE said...

Very interesting. I guess the sunflowers want to shine on their own. Rather pompous in their glory!! Beautiful photos.

forgetmenot said...

Beautiful shot of the sunflower. It is the state flower of Kansas so we them growing wild all along the highways. Good luck with your garden --it takes a lot of work but is well worth the effort when you harvest all those delicious, chemical free vegetables. Thanks for coming by my blog. Mickie :)

rainfield61 said...

Gorgeous flowers that always look for brightness.

chubskulit said...

Gorgeous photos!

Please come and see my yellow, have a great week!!

One said...

That's very true. Sunflowers produce some toxin that inhibits the growth of other plants including its own seeds. Can you imagine if that doesn't happen, the whole garden would be infested by sunflowers since it comes with many seeds. Anyway, my experience says passion fruit plant has no issue with sunflower. Mine was all over the sunflower. When the sunflower dies, it is hard to remove them since the passion fruit plant is all over them. My thoughts are pumpkin may do well but I have not tried yet.

Your sunflowers are gorgeous!!!

milka said...

I love sunflowers but like your experiences they won't grow well with other plants. So i only plant them far away from other. It is hard to clear the roots from the soil too. But i still plant them a lot for their beauty :)

lina@engagement rings said...

Your sun flowers are so lovely! They grows well too. I have no enough space to plant them here.

Thanks for dropping by :)

p3chandan said...

Stunning bright sunflowers...will always cheer up any garden!

Rebecca said...

Wonderful sunflowers-

Eden said...

You have a beautiful garden and I love your sunflowers. I tried to grow them but wasn't a success.

kitchen flavours said...

Your sunflowers are gorgeous! They make a stunning picture in any garden!

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

I remembered growing sunflowers beside little hot chili in Putrajaya home. It's sunflowers that got dwarfed...

Green Lane Allotments said...

I didn't realise sunflowers were thugs - pretty thugs though!

Fifi Flowers said...

LOVE sunflowers!!!

Why I garden... said...

I have sunflower seedlings coming up at the minute in an area and I was wondering could I put in radishes or lettuces until the sunflower gets bigger? Not sure, might try it. Last year I had leeks and chives growing beside sunflower. The chives weren't affect by the sunflowers. Leeks still grew but were small. I had maris peer potato growing in same area as sunflower, got a decent yield.

♦♦Icy BC said...

Beautiful sunflowers! I love them because they are very cheery looking.

Daphne said...

I've never grown anything with my sunflowers before. Now I wonder if something could grow under it well.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Mark~ I thought it works like the 3 sisters too, unfortunately not in my case.

forgetmenot~ What a sight growing wild along the highway.

ONE~ Passionfruit with sunflower will keep that in mind. Thanks!

Milka~ The big tall sunflower were very hard to take down.

Bangchik and Kakdah~ Maybe the chili were too hot and spicy for those sunflowers.

Sue~ The sunflowers are so proud. Only want all the space for themseleves.

Kelli~Thank you for the information. I have spring onions and Russian Kale seedlings growing near sunflowers at the moment not sure how they will grow yet. Looking forward to hear your trial about radishes or lettuces growing with sunflowers.

Daphne~I wonder what will you try growing under sunflowers:).