Sunflowers: The birds, the bees and me...
Last spring, while on my UPS route...I was delivering to a business in a business district (a flowerless place), I noticed a whole lot of horse manure piled up against their metal warehouse, bordered by a few small boulders to hold it together. Hmmm...I thought, what is this?
My customer Kim, a very friendly woman explained that over the weekend she hauled a truckload of manure to her place of business to plant sunflowers in. She explained that they're heavy feeders and she's had great success using straight (aged) horse manure for a planting medium. I was excited by this because I LOVE horse manure as a soil amendment but had never used it as soil!
Let me tell you, Kim's method had spectacular results!! Her Mammoth sunflowers were just that, monstrous flower heads covered with happy, industrious bees.
I shared my new sunflower secret with Rustic and he had a little fit. He is completely against bringing manure into the garden for fear of introducing pesky weeds. And he's right, fresh manure is bad, bad, BAD for garden beds. But, aged manure is wonderful...IF, you can find it. It has a sweet smell and that's how you can tell if it's aged.
Well, if you know me at all...
I-marched straight to our county corrals (after the husband left for work), found the oldest poop and promptly filled my car with it. I just love being an Aries :)
Stunning, I know!
Before I forget...if you want a beneficial sunflower, grow the Mammoth variety. I promise you...the bees will love it and when the flower is spent and fall arrives, the seed heads will be picked clean of their sunflower seeds by your backyard flock. I truly love these flowers! They're happy, easy and one gigantic feast for the birds and the bees. They do so much good, as should we!
Now go forth, find manure and plant!