Planting Sunflowers Beneath a Grey Sky

The sunflowers were released from their pot prisons at the weekend, roughly a month later than I would normally plant sunflowers out but hey, they’re in now and I can look forward to watching them grow and bloom. I planted a good mix of single yellow giants and multi-branching types in shades of dark purple, orange and red. I’m just praying they don’t become slug and snail fodder, I usually lose a couple. We had some rain at the weekend, not a great amount but enough to knock the dust off the top soil so that means the slimers will be out in force.

I use wool pellets to deter slugs and snails and then cross my fingers very tightly.

Grow big and tall now my pretty!

A couple more dahlias have joined the allotment party! A red pom pom of which I cannot remember the variety is starting to puff up.

Another just starting to bloom is Purple Gem, a cactus type. The yellow centre is yet to fill out with beautiful tubular petals.

Verbena bonariensis towering around the allotment shed

Moving on to some of the veg, sweetcorn planted out mid June is just starting to thicken up now. To prevent young plants from snapping/bending during windy weather I use mesh windbreakers until they can tough it out on their own.

Root veg are doing well, there’s a few rows of beetroot which are small but very usable and I have started more seeds off in modules in the greenhouse to extend the harvest. Carrot seedlings are growing well, the cloche tunnels have been removed to make way for the carrot fly screen and I remembered to re-sow the gaps. Tiny seedlings are popping through already, not so easy to see in the photo. I will sow more rows this month at the end of this bed to fill it up and extend the harvest into winter and perhaps spring.

I haven’t done badly with the onions, better than last years for sure. I grow mine from seed and multi sow in modules (around 5-7 seedlings per module) then plant out as clumps. I pull the smaller immature onions to use in salads as you would spring onions and leave the rest to bulb up. They don’t grow very large because of this, which is fine, but it does mean you get more onions this way especially if you are short on growing space.

These are Bedfordshire Champion and could easily grow into stonking big onions if planted out singly and conditions are right. I might try that next year, just for a change.

The red onions are Red Baron, again from seed. They’re a bit small but I expected them to be, especially so grown in clumps. I mostly use them for salads or roasting so that’s perfectly fine for what I need.

Maincrop potatoes Carolus are flowering now, I haven’t grown or tasted this variety yet so that’s something to look forward to.

The grey sky is set to be replaced with plenty of blue by the end of the week, the temperature is going back up again. That will make my sunflowers happy!

8 Comments Add yours

  1. annebrooke says:

    Everything looks great! Love the sunflowers and dahlia 🙂

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    1. Thank you Anne! Loving the dahlias too, looking forward to more to come.

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  2. How do you get on with the wool pellets?

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    1. I really like them and they do work as long as you apply generously around plants. I also use wool mats which cover a larger area and again very good at keeping slugs off, but I find birds like to use them for nesting material depending on the time of year so they may not stay put…..or in one piece!

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  3. Flighty says:

    It’s all looking and sounding good. I generally find that that direct sown sunflowers do better providing the slugs/snails don’t get them. I hope that it doesn’t get too warm, and would rather have some rain! xx

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    1. I agree and was hoping the sunflowers from last year would self seed, to save me having to sow them. I didn’t seen any late spring but I don’t know if the slugs got to them first. xx

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  4. Dominique says:

    Your plot looks great ! I like the way you take your photos, it’s enhances the beauty of the vegetables.
    Slugs love sunflowers, I hope wool pellets will do the trick, we don’t have these pellets in France.
    By chance, I have one giant sunflower this year…

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    1. Thank you so much Dominique. I do love the giant sunflowers!

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