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Friday, 17 January 2014

I put a seed into the ground and said, "I'll watch it grow."

I put a seed into the ground
And said, "I'll watch it grow."
I watered it and cared for it
As well as I could know.

One day I walked in my back yard,
And oh, what did I see!
My seed had popped itself right out,
Without consulting me!

- by Gwendolyn Brooks

I've always been fascinated by sunflowers, partly because they're so huge and have such a sunny disposition and partly because I feed a lot of sunflower seeds to my various birds and chickens. A couple of months ago, last year beginning October, to be exact, I decided to plant a few of my own and scattered some seeds in an empty spot. I watered the area and then waited.

24th October 2013

They popped through the ground within a week, two tiny little plants reaching for the sun. Within another 2 weeks, they were already 30cm (12") tall. But there were only two, of about two dozen seeds I planted and they chose the most inaccessible spot to launch their growth, right next to my Barrel Cactus, so I couldn't even transplant them to a better position. But who am I to decided where is the better position, obviously they think that, right where they are, is perfect!

 12th November 2013

Three weeks later the tallest sunflower was already standing over 5' tall and showing the first signs of budding. I could just manage to look at its crown by bending the plant over slightly to take a pic.

3rd December 2013

7th December 2013

Another three weeks later, 8th December, and the tallest one was just over 15' and the flower had opened. The second one's flower opened a week later.

16th December 2013, approx. 8 weeks after planting

A couple of weeks ago, the flowers would face East in the morning and by late afternoon would be facing almost due West. It really is true that Sunflowers seem to follow the sun! But as the plant matured, the flower eventually stayed facing East, due to the stalk becoming more rigid and to prevent scorching of the flower in the midday and late afternoon sun.

Just before Christmas, the flowers and most of the leaves started drying up and soon I would be able to harvest some seeds for my birds! And to plant more in the garden...

This was taken yesterday, 16th January 2014, and it seems it's going to take just as long before I can harvest the seeds as it took for the plant to grow!

So all in all it seems the farmer has to wait 18 weeks before he can harvest his crop and get some money in. No wonder sunflower seeds are so expensive!

(Note to Liz : As soon as the seeds are ready, keep an eye on your post box, I will be sending you some! Will let you know before-hand.)



  1. Oooh! Wonderful, I can't wait, thanks so much Maree! By the way, these photos of your sunflowers are beautiful!! I so enjoyed this post.

    1. Aaaah, thank you Liz! Hope we don't have to wait toooooo long for those seeds now, looks like you'll receive them in time to plant next spring!


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