I challenge you to look into the face of a sunflower and not smile. How can you resist the cheerfulness of brilliant, joyful blooms towering over you?
Sunflowers have so much to offer the home gardener: bright blooms, many of which are edible; gigantic flowers packed with seeds ready for roasting; and a bounty of biomass to use in and around the garden—leaves for compost and stems for garden stakes, kindling, and more. To top it all off, they’re not fussy plants and will grow almost anywhere there’s a full day of sun.
In this gardening guide’s Introduction, you’ll first learn some basics and history about sunflowers to get you ready to grow your own. Then, in the Feature Articles, you’ll get specifics about sunflower growing—from the different types of sunflowers and their uses to watering, weeding, fertilizing, and controlling and preventing disease and pests.
If you’re already an advanced sunflower and food gardener, some of this may be refresher content for you. But stick with it, because you’re certain to learn something new, especially when it comes to the history of sunflowers and the recipes!
In Plant Profiles, you’ll learn about several popular varieties of sunflowers, to give you specific details about the characteristics and best uses for particular varieties that you can choose to grow and enjoy.
Of the more than 70 varieties of sunflowers available, we’ve chosen these sunflower plants to profile because they are some of the most commonly grown with the most culinary options to offer. If you’d like us to include another sunflower variety that appeals to you, please let me know by commenting below.
As a network of enthusiastic food gardeners, we value your input. We want to hear from our readers who are just like us: devoted food gardeners who want to enjoy all the benefits of growing our own delicious food at home!
One of the things that our readers love about Food Gardening Network is the assortment of super easy and delicious Recipes, so that you can enjoy the fruits of your gardening labor. And that includes marvelous sunflowers!
These sunflower recipes include something for virtually every meal. You will be sure to delight everyone at your table when you prepare sunflowers and their nutrition-rich seeds. Enjoy your sunflower harvest with these tasty recipes, and your family and friends will be amazed at all your sunflower gardening and cooking efforts!
Next, you’ll learn Nutrition Facts about Sunflowers to find out exactly which nutrients are found in sunflowers—and to what degree—and the most common vitamins and minerals. Home Remedies and Health Benefits of Sunflowers will help you learn about how key nutrients in sunflowers can help with heart health and cholesterol levels.
To help you explore the sweet world of sunflowers even further, we’ve included a Resources section that is complementary to this gardening guide. We aim to give you everything you need to grow, harvest, and eat delicious sunflowers, but enjoy taking a deeper dive into these additional resources by visiting the links provided.
Finally, you’ll find a brief Glossary at the end of this gardening guide in case you need a fuller explanation of any key terms and concepts.
Now it’s on to growing the most amazing sunflowers ever!