Why Plant Cut Flowers in the Vegetable Garden?
There are a couple of different benefits behind interplanting cut flowers such as sunflowers in the vegetable garden. The first benefit is it will increase the presence of beneficial insects which helps control harmful pests from taking over the area. However, the most important reason for interplanting flowers is it will increase the presence of pollinators and maximize the number of healthy plants producing along the rows. This will in return give us a bountiful harvest of healthy crops in the vegetable garden.
Planting Sunflowers in the Garden
On this week’s episode, Travis explains the best way to plant sunflowers in the vegetable garden area. Travis has grown ProCut sunflower varieties for around 4 to 5 years. When planting sunflowers the best tool to use is the Hoss Garden Seeder which comes with adjustable seed plates that make planting different seed sizes easy along the row. To get the perfect seed plate for planting ProCut varieties Travis simply takes an existing seed plate and modifies it to match the seed size of the sunflower variety. The seed plate he is using to plant has 6 holes which are a little over 3 inches in spacing since Travis prefers to plant sunflowers thick. Once the seed plate is customized to your preferred hole spacing and seed size it is time to ensure the seeds are running through the seed plate properly within the seeder. Before planting with the seeder, Travis must take the Single Wheel Hoe with a 12-inch oscillating hoe to cultivate the area a couple of inches and make the area more workable prior to planting sunflower seeds. When planting the seeds he places them around 2 to 3 feet apart and is going to use overhead watering instead of drip tape in the garden.
ProCut sunflowers are the preferred variety of sunflower that is used by all the professional cut flower gardeners. These sunflower varieties will reach around 6 to 7 feet tall and each plant produces a single stem or one flower in the garden. Another benefit of the ProCut varieties of sunflowers is they are pollen-less which means they don’t have any pollen. Therefore, when you harvest the sunflowers and place them in a vase they will not deposit pollen all over the place like traditional sunflowers. There are 6 different color variation varieties that we have available this year. The first variety is the ProCut Orange which produces bright orange petals with dark brown disk center. Next, is the ProCut Lemon which creates beautiful lemon-colored petals similar to the traditional yellow sunflower. Another unusual pretty variety is the ProCut Red Lemon Bicolor which is a bicolor that has red to yellow petals. The White Nite produces solid vanilla-colored petals that make the vegetable garden pop with color. The fifth variety we offer is a ProCut Red which contains deep burgundy petals. While the last variety we have available is the ProCut Plum which is another bicolor that creates plum to cream-colored petals.