My current home doesn't have a verandah but I'd like it to! A long porch surrounding the entire house. With a porch swing, potted blueberry plants, and a long strong dog laying at my feet. The sweet smell of lrosemary and freshly-turned soil wafting across my yard. The chickens clucking contentedly as they scratch for goodies in the fertile dirt. Knowing we have a full root cellar, trees in the orchard about to drop their bounty, and soup made all from hand-picked harvests bubbling in the crockpot. Heaven.

Please move with me over to my current blog, ... thank you!

Sunflower Varieties

Two days ago I talked about cucumber varieties, and yesterday I talked about melons. TODAY .... sunflowers. We plant them as a part of companion group: sunflowers, melons, and cucumbers. What I call the "Three Cousins": the sunflowers grow up tall and strong, with large stalks, sending down long roots that bring up nutrients and moisture. The cucumbers climb up the sunflower stalks. And the melons provide a living "mulch" to keep in moisture.

Here are the varieties of sunflowers we grew this year:
- Skyscraper
- Black Russian
- Mammoth
- Mammoth Russian
- Arikara

Rather, TRIED to grow. Really bad soil that's actually just a lot of sand. Anyway, I ended up mixing seeds so I don't know which actually grew and which didn't. But again, my goal is to plant only ONE kind. Here's what we want out of a sunflower:
- short growing season (90 days, but less is preferred)
- easy to grow
- very tall
- hardy
- strong enough for beans or cucumbers to use as a trellis
- lots of seeds on the seedhead
- seeds are nutritious (good for us AND to keep for our critters over winter)
- heirloom (non-gmo, and so we can save seeds to grow)


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