I have a couple questions about sunflower seedlings


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hi!! I'm very new to this so forgive any rookie mistakes lol.

ive been geminating sunflower seeds indoors for... probably 5 days now? they have been growing super well and I've been planning on planting them (outside) this weekend but wonder if I should do it sooner? they seem to be growing roots I guess and are denting the ziplock bag with how big they're getting!! should I go ahead and wait two more days or do it now?

I have some questions about planting them too. we get a lot of birds in our backyard and I don't know of a way to protect them. I can't do anything elaborate like fencing or, or greenhouse but if you have any good and easy diy methods then please let me know! thanks!

(I had them spaced evenly apart but I think they got jostled around a little bit so that's why some of them are all tangled up now :( )
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NigelJ

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I would plant now. Over here (UK) I'd cover with horticultural fleece to deter the birds. You could try hanging some aluminium foil or old cds on string over the top. The movement in the wind will deter the birds.
 
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Or you could plant them in cups until they get larger.
 
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What's your weather like? I was very surprised at how cold tolerant sunflowers are, which I found out this year with a few volunteers that made it thru the winter here in Jacksonville, Fl.

Granted it was a mild winter, but we had a few nights get down into the mid 30's and a couple of morning frostings.

Disclaimer: I'm not sure if seedlings can withstand those temps.

As for protecting from birds, I can't help...I don't even try...
 
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I lost several too birds. Fortunately, mine are in a pot. So I covered the pot with chicken wire which protects the delectable seedlings until they are large enough to not be of interest.
 
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thanks for the input! taking some advice I think I'll plant them in those biodegradable pots (probably 2 or 3 to a pot, we set out alot not expecting many to survive) and put them on this rack on my back porch. the plants on the rack usually go undetected but I could put some mech over everything just to be sure :) I don't know about doing it today bc I have a late night but Saturday FOR SURE. thanks again guys!
 
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thanks for the input! taking some advice I think I'll plant them in those biodegradable pots (probably 2 or 3 to a pot, we set out alot not expecting many to survive) and put them on this rack on my back porch. the plants on the rack usually go undetected but I could put some mech over everything just to be sure :) I don't know about doing it today bc I have a late night but Saturday FOR SURE. thanks again guys!
You would be better off if you only planted 1 per container. That way you won't loose any plants when you put them into the ground. Planting 2 or more in the same container they will intertwine their roots and you will damage them when seperating and transplanting.
 
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You would be better off if you only planted 1 per container. That way you won't loose any plants when you put them into the ground. Planting 2 or more in the same container they will intertwine their roots and you will damage them when seperating and transplanting.
ok! I'll plant one per container but I think we're only looking at having like having 10 in the back. I probably am growing like 40... lol I think I'll just plant those extras right away and if they do grow, cool and if they don't make it I guess that's ok. I can also give a couple to friends I think. thanks!
 
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ok! I'll plant one per container but I think we're only looking at having like having 10 in the back. I probably am growing like 40... lol I think I'll just plant those extras right away and if they do grow, cool and if they don't make it I guess that's ok. I can also give a couple to friends I think. thanks!
The thing about planting more than one per container is that when you are ready to put them into the ground you will either have to snip all but one with scissors or wash away the soil from the roots to separate them. I plant all of my vegetables like peppers and tomatoes in multiples, 10-15 plants, in small plastic containers and if you aren't very careful and gentle with them you will loose some due to the breaking of the roots during separation.
 
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So! I have a lot to tell because I've planted them, and they seem to be dying and I can't figure out what ive done wrong!
Due to family reasons, I had to take the seedlings over to my grandmas to plant them. fine, cool, whatever. I plant all of them I think there were 68 in total? I planted the biggest, most promising in the larger pots and the smaller ones/just emerging seeds in the smaller pots. I didn't pull off any remaining shells still on the plant, and some roots were stuck in the paper towel but i got them out just fine. now, she lives in an elder community type thing, so there are people going all over the sidewalks all day. Keeping that in mind (because I didn't) I put them on the sidewalk the extends from her porch (hopefully that makes sense!). Just an hour ago probably, I was taking a nap and my mom told me someone ran over some of the small pots. I ran out there and I couldn't find ANY on the ground. She said she replanted what she could so I'm thinking she put a couple in one pot :(. Looking around while I was out there, I noticed they all looked a lot less healthy then they did yesterday! I've lightly watered them probably 3 times today, one being just a sec ago, because the soil seems to dry out so fast. Its 75°F here. I watered them a little more heavily this time.
OH! And i just remembered I saw quite a few ants out there! I don't know if that has anything to do with it but idk :(
Tonight we go back home, so the flowers will be much much safer there. ah i hope i havent doomed my first little batch of flowers! thanks for any help.

first pic was taken prior to planting, as you can see the roots are huge and they look super healthy
second pic was right after planting, still looking pretty healthy. some are on their side due to the way they grew but some are standing.
last pic was today, just a couple minutes ago. none are standing and they look weaker.

there are a couple that look obviously dead, stems shriveled and laying on their side. I only counted about 5 that still looked promising.
*they were in full sun this morning and afternoon, now the shade is taking over again.
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Full sun is your problem. If you start seeds indoors, you MUST harden them off slowly. That's part of why I don't like doing indoor seed starts. Plant some seeds directly into your pots, or directly into the ground and try again. Just be sure to protect the sprouts from birds and the seeds from squirrels.
 
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Couple of things:
-- What kind of ants do you have? I have tons of simple black garden ants all over the place and they don't harm any of my plants; however, they do "farm" aphids on some of the plants, but mostly on my milkweed. They are all over my sunflowers, but I've never seen any negative effects.

-- I wouldn't bother starting sunflowers inside, they're just too easy to grow outdoors and those pots you have are very nice, but I wouldn't waste them on sunflowers, for the same reason, because sunflowers are best grown when sown directly into the soil -- save the pots for other plants.

-- Where are you from? Sounds like you have no issues with cold weather now, so I'd just go buy some cheap sunflower seeds and plant them, if money is an issue.

-- What type of soil do you have? I have very, very sandy soil that I've amended over the years with simply mulching nothing but leaves, thereby building up the soil, so it now retains water so much better. However, if you have very sandy soil, then you will need to water quite a bit in the beginning until the sunflowers roots get established, but after that, sunflowers are quite drought tolerant and don't need super-rich soil.

-- The seedlings may not be dead, but rather showing signs of transplant shock, like many plants, sunflowers don't like their roots to be disturbed. Give them time and do NOT over water them.
 
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Couple of things:
-- What kind of ants do you have? I have tons of simple black garden ants all over the place and they don't harm any of my plants; however, they do "farm" aphids on some of the plants, but mostly on my milkweed. They are all over my sunflowers, but I've never seen any negative effects.

-- I wouldn't bother starting sunflowers inside, they're just too easy to grow outdoors and those pots you have are very nice, but I wouldn't waste them on sunflowers, for the same reason, because sunflowers are best grown when sown directly into the soil -- save the pots for other plants.

-- Where are you from? Sounds like you have no issues with cold weather now, so I'd just go buy some cheap sunflower seeds and plant them, if money is an issue.

-- What type of soil do you have? I have very, very sandy soil that I've amended over the years with simply mulching nothing but leaves, thereby building up the soil, so it now retains water so much better. However, if you have very sandy soil, then you will need to water quite a bit in the beginning until the sunflowers roots get established, but after that, sunflowers are quite drought tolerant and don't need super-rich soil.

-- The seedlings may not be dead, but rather showing signs of transplant shock, like many plants, sunflowers don't like their roots to be disturbed. Give them time and do NOT over water them.
* the ants are little and black, I think they might have gone away after the move to my house

* got it. I just started them inside cuz I wanted to see them grow but, if I have to do this again I'll definitely go outside. I do want to give these guys a week or so and see if I can save them first.

* middle of Oklahoma weather for the rest of this week is looking pretty good, I'll keep them shaded on my porch.

* I just have something called potting soil mix.., it's pretty mulchy

hopefully they aren't dead! I read about transplant shock and I'm hoping that's what's wrong. I won't overwater

thank you!
 
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update on these guys-
they ended up perking up within a couple days! unfortunately, after I planted them a couple weeks later, the guy who mows our yard accidentally mowed over them :( only one survived, but that one's doing great! I planted more of both types and they're also doing amazing, i started them in the seed starter pots and need to get them in the ground very soon. I'll try to post a pic in a couple months when the first sunflower flowers!
 
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I wonder if i should of tried this, im new to this myself and i put my sunflower seeds directly in the ground. only about 1/3rd of them grew
 

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