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Are BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) plantable?

 
Gary Park
Posts: 146
Location: St. Louis, MO
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I have a lot of hilly area that I just removed honeysuckles and brush from and want to plant a cover crop for next year.  I have most of a 50lb. bag of BOSS and wondered if they are plantable?  Thought it would be spectacular to have hills of sunflowers following the sun this summer.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
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Location: zone 7
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we have someone living here that buys them for the birds, well the birds plant these things EVERYWHERE! we have them popping up all over the place.
 
tel jetson
steward
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Location: woodland, washington
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I've had plenty sprout under bird feeders, so I would say yes.  should be easy to do a germination test on them since you've got so many.
 
Gary Park
Posts: 146
Location: St. Louis, MO
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Great!  Thanks for the quick replies.  This will be the area I plan on planting..hope the pics work.

Before;


AFTER;
 
Dave Miller
pollinator
Posts: 416
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
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Yes, the BOSS seeds will grow and en masse they are spectacular!  If you leave them after they go to seed, you will attract a lot of birds.

I have some photos somewhere, perhaps I'll post one.
 
                            
Posts: 158
Location: Abilene, KS
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Sunflowers generally need a lot of sun.  They may grow some in semi-shady areas, but they won't do well at all in the shade.  (I live in the sunflower state, KS)
Or does that area get more sun than what I'm guessing?
 
Gary Park
Posts: 146
Location: St. Louis, MO
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Marianne wrote:
Sunflowers generally need a lot of sun.  They may grow some in semi-shady areas, but they won't do well at all in the shade.  (I live in the sunflower state, KS)
Or does that area get more sun than what I'm guessing?


It ranges from full shade to full sun.  I'm working on getting some full sun areas on my 1-acre since it was almost complete shade 3 years ago.  Last year 2 sunflowers just popped up in the garden and this area will get similar sun.  Compared to packets of seeds, this huge bad for $20 would compare to a packet of seeds selling for a penny!
 
                            
Posts: 158
Location: Abilene, KS
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O wow, bargain!!    I hope they do well for you.
I have been trying to get more wild sunflowers growing on our property, too.  The hens and wild birds just gobble the seeds as soon as they hit the ground, so it's slow-go...or slow-gro!
 
Ben Zumeta
Posts: 163
Location: Redwood Country, Zone 9, 60" rain/yr,
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dog duck hugelkultur
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Good sunflower seeds for birds should be fresh, and therefore should sprout pretty well. I have planted rows of them to break up clay soil and they did the job and some grew up to 10ft tall with dinner plate sized flowers. Others were 2ft, but I hardly watered after the first 2 weeks and really gave them very little care. People stopped in middle of the road to tell me how much they liked them. I am going to get a 50lb bag and sprout them to grow and for my fowl.
 
Natalie Manor
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I have the same dream about the sunflowers.  The land I am looking at is mostly flat so I was going to do berms with sun flowers the first year.  The finch's go crazy for the seeds still on the flower.  Fun to watch.  Do you just let the flowers filled with seed fall to the ground or do you break them up and spread?  When you grow for your birds, do you deseed the flower or just cut the flower head for the birds?  Thanks. 
 
Dave Miller
pollinator
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Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
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I just leave them standing until the fall rains start, then cut the heads and keep them in the garage.  The birds know how to extract the seeds, no need to do that for them, unless you are wanting seed to fill your feeder.

Natalie Manor wrote:I have the same dream about the sunflowers.  The land I am looking at is mostly flat so I was going to do berms with sun flowers the first year.  The finch's go crazy for the seeds still on the flower.  Fun to watch.  Do you just let the flowers filled with seed fall to the ground or do you break them up and spread?  When you grow for your birds, do you deseed the flower or just cut the flower head for the birds?  Thanks. 
 
Casie Becker
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Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
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forest garden urban
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We have wild sunflowers in our yard. I'm trying some more colorful varieties this year, but for the wild ones we've never needed to do anything but let the seed mature on the plant. The birds dislodge or drop enough to propagate next year's crop.
 
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