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.
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