Q and A

Q: I'm moving this summer so don't want to plant sunflowers, and then leave! I do have some seeds from last year-does anyone know if they will last until next summer?

A: I'm not sure - I looked on google and found a couple links. This person indicated 5 years, specifically included sunflower seeds -- seems like one year should be fine. keeping them dry, even in the fridge, with a little packet of silica gel, might help.
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http://westsidegardener.com/guides/faq_seeds.html
> specific info on sunflower seeds
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http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071220214506AA0Zvwm
> Most vegetable seeds remain viable for three to five years when stored properly. Place thoroughly dry seed in a tightly closed glass jar and keep the jar in a cool dry location. Put silica gel packets in with the seed to help keep it dry. You can add diatomaceous earth to seed to help prevent insect damage. Store seed in the refrigerator to further increase its life expectancy.


Q: I germinated my sunflower seeds, and they came up strong and healthy-but when I planted them, they quickly withered and died-This is the first year this has happened to me-)-:-any thoughts anyone?

A: not sure, but it sounds like you planted the seeds inside, then moved them outside, so I suppose it could have something to do with the soil, or the shock.

any idea of what the soil is like that you planted them in, as far as the area - clay, acidic, etc.? I don't know much of these things, but a local hardware store or nursery might have some insight.

one thing you could try is to get some peat moss, and cow manure ("moo nure", in a bag), mix it half and half, and mix it in with the soil - this could help to make the soil richer. then, if you're transplanting, when you replant, you could put some water in the hole before putting the plant in, which helps with shock, and you could do it towards the end of the day (so that it's not under withering sun)

and you might also be interested to try planting right into the ground. vampire squirrels may go after them, but you could possibly get "deer off" and spray it around to reduce the chances
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