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Do you remove sunflowers' roots from the ground?

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Do you remove sunflowers' roots from the ground?

Postby -nouna- » May 13, 2010 9:22 am

Hi, I'm new to gardening and to this forum.. just started growing sunflowers and morning glory from seeds.. I have a long sunny chain link fence in my backyard which I'd like to grow sunflowers and morning glory along to use as a summer privacy screen. Now since sunflowers are annuals, how to you get rid of their roots later on? do you take them out or do you leave them in the ground? do they decompose? would they harm other plants around as I have a couple of rose bushes nearby? and what if I want to grow different plants in the same spot later on? Thanks :)
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Re: Do you remove sunflowers' roots from the ground?

Postby A Closet Canuck » May 13, 2010 9:53 am

Welcome to the Canadian Gardening forum!!

You can dig them out or cut the stem completely to the ground and leave it. For an annual flower, sunflowers, have a pretty good size rootball. I take them out so I don't trip. If you leave the rootball in the ground you can plant around it.

If you are planting them next to the fence, leave at least six inches between the spot where you plant the seed and the fence, for ease of removal. Also, if sunflowers are planted too close to the fence they can grow through the fence, which is a difficult problem at the end of the season.

Sunflowers will self-sow if you let them go to seed at the end of the season. The following spring, new sunflowers will begin to grow in the area where you planted the original one. Just pull out the seedlings you don't want.
Trish in Iowa -- -- ..zone 5b or 6a
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---------the devil says, "[/code]Oh no! She's up!"
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Re: Do you remove sunflowers' roots from the ground?

Postby ViridianFields » May 13, 2010 11:43 am

I would remove the rootball since the mass of dead roots can be difficult for tender, fresh roots to get through and takes a while to break down (though it will break down eventually).

I dunno if a sunflower seed would survive the winter here, where I like :mrgreen: Not sure about the minimum temperature for survivability of sunflowers there, Canuck... lucky you are in zone 5/6, that's close to my dream zone of 7 :D
Calvin

Creighton, SK - Zone 1b, but don't tell the Delphiniums. Zone 4 for them. :lol:
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Re: Do you remove sunflowers' roots from the ground?

Postby Eeyore » May 13, 2010 12:24 pm

I'm willing to bet they would Calvin. :wink:

Nouna - I remove the root balls with a garden fork. Sometimes it takes quite a bit of work but the root balls take up a lot of room!
Lyn
AB, Zone 3A
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Re: Do you remove sunflowers' roots from the ground?

Postby -nouna- » May 13, 2010 1:37 pm

Thank you all that's really helpful.. so it's better to remove the roots but if I just leave them in the ground they should eventually break-up.. right? and then I can plant other flowers in the same spots next season maybe. The point is that the fence is 80 feet long so I can't image removing all the roots along the fence :mrgreen: .. especially that I've read somewhere that the sunflowers' roots are quite deap and spreading. I'm in zone 5b by the way.
"He who dares not grasp the thorn... should never crave the rose".
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Re: Do you remove sunflowers' roots from the ground?

Postby A Closet Canuck » May 13, 2010 5:23 pm

-nouna- wrote:Thank you all that's really helpful.. so it's better to remove the roots but if I just leave them in the ground they should eventually break-up.. right? and then I can plant other flowers in the same spots next season maybe. The point is that the fence is 80 feet long so I can't image removing all the roots along the fence :mrgreen: .. especially that I've read somewhere that the sunflowers' roots are quite deap and spreading. I'm in zone 5b by the way.

That is right! The root systems of sunflowers will eventually breakdown into dirt. I can't answer the question about the 80 ft. of fence. I grow a half-dozen plants and lift the root balls in spring.

Zone 5/6? Well, your plants should grow from last year's seeds readily. Lucky!
Trish in Iowa -- -- ..zone 5b or 6a
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------When your feet hit the floor each morning,
---------be the kind of woman about whom

---------the devil says, "[/code]Oh no! She's up!"
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Re: Do you remove sunflowers' roots from the ground?

Postby ViridianFields » May 13, 2010 9:51 pm

Hmm interesting Lyn. I'll cut the heads and hang them for sure then, so I don't have reseeders (I plant hybrids). Thanks, didn't know sunflowers are that hardy (and I still need to plant mine!).
Calvin

Creighton, SK - Zone 1b, but don't tell the Delphiniums. Zone 4 for them. :lol:
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Re: Do you remove sunflowers' roots from the ground?

Postby iamcanadian » May 14, 2010 11:50 am

I have never had a sunflower re seed ever, the birds alway get my seeds from any type! Buggers
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Re: Do you remove sunflowers' roots from the ground?

Postby A Closet Canuck » May 15, 2010 9:13 am

iamcanadian wrote:I have never had a sunflower re seed ever, the birds alway get my seeds from any type! Buggers

You must have some very persistent birds! Mine self-sow along the fence and around the birdfeeder.
Trish in Iowa -- -- ..zone 5b or 6a
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------When your feet hit the floor each morning,
---------be the kind of woman about whom

---------the devil says, "[/code]Oh no! She's up!"
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