There’s more to growing sunflowers than just gazing upon their beauty. Did you know they’re also good for weed suppression, they’re good for livestock, and more! Let’s talk about the top 6 reasons you should be growing sunflowers.
6 Reasons You Should Be Growing Sunflowers
They attract many beneficial insects. At the center of the sunflowers are hundreds and thousands of tiny florets that can contain nectar and pollen, a food source for different types of beneficial insects. By attracting these types of insects, you will help pollinate other vegetable plants that you have growing in your garden.
Beautiful Cut Flowers
Sunflowers are probably one of the most popular cut flowers and are extremely popular among flower farmers who sell them at farmers’ markets. They are truly a garden focal point. They can also provide shade when planting around your vegetables that don’t need or require full sun throughout the day. Tip: Once you cut your stems, immediately put them in the water.
Attracts Birds To The Garden
Have pests in your garden? Attracting birds to your garden will help with pests. They are nature’s free pest control managers and insect eaters. They help create a balance of pests to beneficial insects in the garden. Yes, some may come for certain fruits or vegetables but that’s when the netting comes in handy.
Help Your Soil
Did you know that sunflowers help with weed suppression and help detox contaminated soil? That’s right, the seeds contain chemical that other plants (weeds) do not like. They are a natural herbicide that prevents weed growth. Sunflowers can absorb toxic heavy metals, contaminants, and poisonous chemicals that are in the soil through their deep taproots. Tip: We use the Black Oil Sunflower for cover crops and soil improvement.
Free Edible Seeds
Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E; this is the primary fat-soluble antioxidant that is needed in your body to help neutralize the free radicals. They are also a good source of magnesium and selenium.
Livestock Fooder, Silage
Yes, sunflower crop residue can replace fibrous by-products that livestock typically is fed or will eat. Example: Sunflower heads have been known to be a valuable substitute for conventional roughages in a complete diet. They are considered to be high-fiber meals for livestock. Also, sunflower silage contains between 10-12% crude protein compared to corn silage which contains 8-9%.