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Can Sunflowers be Started in Cells or Pots then Transplanted

can sunflowers be grown in cells/pots to start then transplanted??

I planted a whole line of sunflower seeds along the fence and today I went to check and see if anything was popping up and it looks like some bird very successfully managed to dig up just about every single sunflower seed that I planted, and even a few sprouts that hadn't popped out of the ground yet, grrr, I am going to have to start them in pots.

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I have started them in pots, but I've never tried cells. Even when I started them in pots, I had to "cage" them when I moved them outdoors, until they were about 5 or 6 inches tall. At that size, when I transplanted them, the birds left them alone.

The birds never really bothered many of my plants, but when the sunflower pops up out of the ground, it often still has the opened seed-coat on it, like beans do. I think that's what attracted the birds ... mostly crows ... to them, and enticed them to pull up the starts. :lol:
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Just start them in a box about 4 inhes deep with a sand potting soil and the roots will come out easy when you are ready to trans plant them! keep them watered in the small containers from the bottom! They will transplant nicely as long as you don't disturbe the roots! Need more mixed sunflower seeds let me know I will send you a 100 free! I plant them allover my garden and even trans plant them when they are 2 foot high! Tons of pretty colored birds eat them! Cut the stems up for your compost!
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Susan W
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I too have had problems with birds eating the seeds when planted, not waiting until they could get a whole mess in a flower!
I use the larger size peat pellets, and put in ground when sprout is a few inches, and roots usually showing below.

One of my to-do things tomorrow is start some sunflowers. I did get a packet of the Cucumber Leaf from Southern Exposure See Exchange. These are Gulf coast Native, and I will be bringing starts to Ft Toulouse (near Montgomery AL) for the 18th c garden. They are branchy and have numerous 3 -5" heads, with blooming time 6 -8 weeks. They have done well there the last 2 years and I put a few around my yard.
Have fun!

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You can protect them individually in the ground with things like berry baskets pinned down with ground staples/bent wire, or a row tunnel made with chicken wire fence bent in a V or U shape. Don't forget to close the tunnel ends.

Last year, I sowed them extra early and protected them from frost with cut off top of 2L soda bottles with caps removed. MY problem was tiny black garden snails that wanted to munch on the seedlings. DE, gravel, eggshells, AND handpicking until the sunflower seedlings became coarse and sturdy enough to be unappetizing/unpalatable. There's a thread somewhere -- "Sunflower& House"

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I may have to try some protection like this. I gave up on growing sunflowers because my resident woodchuck loves them. She comes along and nibbles the tops of the little plants off until there's just a stub left. If I could protect the plant until it is taller and not as tender, she would probably leave them alone.
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