I was over at their house on Easter, and I pointed to a sunny spot in the yard. “Is that where you’re planning to put your sunflowers?” I asked innocently.
Dad looked at me with suspicion. “Is that where you would put them?”
“I don’t know,” I hedged evasively. “Looks like you could get some serious midday shade from that tree right there.”
“Of course I wouldn’t want to put them there. Would I.”
“Oh, hell no.”
“Unless that side of the house gets better morning light.”
“Right. Unless is does…”
We narrowed our eyes at each other.
This morning, I received the following sunflower-growing tips via email:
- It’s best to plant the seeds of the Helianthus Annus about 1 inch deep.
- Initially, seeds should be planted in small plastic or moldy clay containers in the depths of a cool, damp basement or cellar until your father’s seeds have sprouted and look especially lively.
- Water the plantings well.
- After planting keep the soil fairly moist after they sprout.
- Fertilize with common gamefish native to the region, carp and catfish heads are especially good for this purpose
- Or crappie
- Plan your garden to have a strip 1 1/2 to 2 feet wide
- In a trench at least 4 feet deep. Make Gary help.
- To keep birds out of your flowers, its best to practise Falconry during the early spring months.
- Relax and enjoy your garden of sunflowers: there is no competition to grow the biggest and the best. Unless mine get bigger, then I get bragging rights.
Recently I mentioned the sunflower competition to Gary and wondered aloud if I’d bought the right variety of seeds.
“Oh,” he said. “Those were for planting?”