Sunflower Planting

It’s been a cold spring here in northern Michigan, and my planting is definitely behind schedule by a week or two.  Last year I tried to modify the popcorn plate for the Earthway seeder to better handle sunflower seeds.  It turned out that I made it worse and I had an awful lot of skips that I had to go back and fill in by hand.  That wasn’t much fun, so I am using the popcorn plate, just as Earthway designed it, this year, and it seems to be working much better.  So much for my engineering talents.

Twelve Rows Are In

Twelve Rows Are In

I’m not using the back part of this field for anything right now and have put in some oats that will cover the soil until winter rye goes in this fall.  The field isn’t really as big as the photo makes it look, being about 250 feet deep.

I am putting in six sixty-foot rows of sunflowers, spaced one foot apart, then a three foot gap, then another six rows, and so on.  That has worked well for me in the past, giving me an access path every six feet, and my irrigation header is already set up for these dimensions, so I’m sticking with it.

In this first planting I put in

90 ft of Pro Cut Orange

90 ft of Pro Cut Yellow Lite

120 ft of Double Quick Orange

120 ft of Sunrich Orange

120 ft of Sunbright

120 ft of Sunny

60 ft of Giant Sungold

Comments on: "Sunflower Planting" (2)

  1. Im going to be planting sunflowers shortly with my earthway seeder. Did you find the popcorn disc plant multiple seeds at once? The spacing seems good. Just wasnt sure on dumping more then i need. I have thought about trying the raddish plate amd covering some holes.. But it seems like it wants to skip…

    • thinmac said:

      Let me get back to you on that. I have a couple of plates that I use, depending on which varieties of sunflower I’m planting. I’ll check tomorrow and post what I see.
      OK, it’s tomorrow now, and I’ve checked my seeding plates. I have used the popcorn plate for the smaller sunflower seeds and it worked fairly well, but with some skipping. The other plate I used was the one labeled beets, okra, Swiss chard. The holes are a bit bigger and I got fewer skips, but quite a few doubles and triples. I taped over every other hole so the spacing wouldn’t be super close. Personally, I’d rather get doubles and triples than skips. It’s faster to pull out extras than reseed skips. Usually, I’d just let the doubles grow and that seemed to work fine. Good luck with your planting.

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