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beth_b_kodiak

Sunflower seed swap again?

beth_b_kodiak
16 years ago

This was a great swap last year and I'm wondering if there is enough interest to do it again this year.

The actual swap will not occur until fall so you still have time to grow some nice sunflowers.

My first ones have started blooming and I started more seeds today.

Here is a photo of Chianti. It is actually darker colored than it looks here. It has been my favorite for years though it was one of the very first to be

offered as a named variety.

Here is Moulin Rouge. This is a new one for me. It came from last year's swap

If you enjoy sunflowers, you might want to start planning for this swap. Each participant will send seed for a few varieties.... enough so everyone can have a share back. Can't remember how many types we had last year but it was a blast. IF you were in and have flowers blooming please post some pictures. Thanks.

Beth B

Comments (63)

  • beckilove
    16 years ago

    Hi! I would love to join this swap! I planted several different varieties, and can't wait for them to bloom! Do we just send what we get seeds from - even though they might cross? As I have many varieties, I'm afraid the seeds won't come true. Is that not usually a problem? Sorry I'm so full of questions ~ I just want to join, and don't want to do the wrong thing! Thanks!
    Rebecca
    "beckilove"

  • claudia_1078
    16 years ago

    I would like to join this swap too. I started some sunflowers and hope they will be ready.
    Claudia

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  • beth_b_kodiak
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    Paula, good to hear that you are joining us too.
    Michelle, that is an impressive lineup of sunflowers. I'll keep my fingers crossed for a good crop. Esp "jade" I have not seen that one yet.
    Rebecca, Hope you have great flowers too. I don't know how freely they cross pollinate but my chianti is now in it's 5th summer of seed from my flowers. I do plant a few of the flowers in separate clumps but have never made any big effort to keep them isolated.
    Claudia welcome to the swap. Hope you have beautiful blooms too.
    Is anyone doing "jolly joker" or something like that???? I remember the name from last year but can't locate my seeds.
    How about Strawberry Blonde??? I planted that but it did not come up.
    Beth

  • poisondartfrog
    16 years ago

    I have Strawberry Blond, but I'm not sure if there will be enough seeds from that one to share. It has been my weakest performer this year. I am certain I will have Moonshadow, Skywalker, Ring of Fire, Sunburst, and perhaps a couple of others.

  • angelsee
    16 years ago

    I'd love to join~i have a few different types to share.

  • poisondartfrog
    16 years ago

    I hope to have enough of an oldie but goodie, Velvet Queen. The color is true.

  • rennep
    16 years ago

    I am a newbie to sunflowers but I have lemon queen and some others growing now. I would like to join because I have become addicted to them.

  • firegurl
    16 years ago

    I'd like to join too. I have Jade and Cinnamon Sun going to seed right now. The jade is a single flowered yellow-greenish color, really cool looking. And the Cinnamon sun is a multi-branching with smaller dark red flowers- somewhat like Beth's Chianti as far as color.
    Poisondart- wow, that's a nice color. I've never seen one so dark.

    :) Danielle
    Firegurl

  • beth_b_kodiak
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    Poison Dart, that velvet queen is beautiful!!
    Angelsee, welcome to the group.
    Rennep, I know what you mean. I'm hooked too. I used to grow just a few for the birds but now I want to see all the different types.
    Danielle, nice to have you on board too. Jade and cinnamon sun both sound interesting.

  • firegurl
    16 years ago

    Well, unfortunately I "missed" the seeds. I had no idea that they fall out so quickly. The jade sunflower was empty when I went to look yesterday but I still collected about 30 seeds of the cinnamon sun. I also have a ton of mammoth/greystripe seeds but those are kind of common...
    how many types do we need to trade in this swap? I'm afraid I might have to drop out on this one but would be willing to send in what I have if it's enough or if anyone would be interested in mammoth ones let me know and i'll send you some for sasbe if I can't join.

    :) Danielle
    Firegurl

  • beth_b_kodiak
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    Danielle, sorry to hear you "missed" the seeds but it is a good "heads up" for all of us.
    I have not had problems with the seeds falling out but I have had to protect them from grasshoppers. Last year I had to wrap the heads of the ones I wanted in netting as the grasshoppers were devouring everything in site. Some years the birds raid the seed heads too.
    I will set up a trade with you for the cinnamon sun seeds if you want to do that. Just keep us posted.
    Beth

  • chrystallake_2007
    16 years ago

    A question for all the oldies.

    Where do you all get these beautiful named varities of sunflowers? I never knew there were so many. Thant velvet queen is the prettist thing I ever saw.

    Sunflowers to me were always big bright yellow things too grow for the birds.

    Would love to get started on some of the named varities.
    Thanks in advance
    Melanie

  • poisondartfrog
    16 years ago

    Chrystallake, Velvet Queen is one of the oldest 'not yellow' varieties of sunflower. Italian White is another old variety. I don't know why more people don't grow those; nothing could be easier. You can get unique and interesting sunflower seeds from most commercial seed companies. In the last two decades hybridizers have introduced a lot of new colors and types, some pollenless.
    The hybrid seeds we exchange will not be very stable in terms of matching the parent but should still be pretty good in the first generation or two.
    The older open pollinated types will be more reliable. I love all of the subtle variations.
    Here is a photo of Skywalker, a traditional color, but the plants are around 12 feet tall and though it may not appear so in the photo, the flowers are a foot across. I stood on a chair but still could not get a straight shot of the face.

  • dirt_under_my_nails
    16 years ago

    This sounds like fun.Count me in!How many seeds do we need to join? I bought a few plants at the farmers market Sat.I got Heavenly White,Citrus,Del Sol & Dorado. Plus just planted some Autumn Beauty.Hopefully I'll harvest enough to trade.

  • Michelle Reynolds
    16 years ago

    hello
    danielle - I would love some mammoth, they are one of my favorets.
    I just snaged some "jade" seed heads from another gardener at our community garden ( with her permision) hers bloomed real nice and I just beat the birds.
    some of the "razzmatazz" I planted at my in laws house are blooming nicely, if I can just beat the birds to them too.

    michelle

  • mmqchdygg
    16 years ago

    I can't believe I never got mine in- I was SO busy with everything else!

    What are the chances this Zone 5-er can grow any to maturity before fall???

  • poisondartfrog
    16 years ago

    mmqchdygg-How about some of the dwarf varieties-they are very quick.

  • chrystallake_2007
    16 years ago

    I have one I planted this spring, Leom Queen, I have never tried to grow them before. What is the secret to keeping the birds from the heads, mine is just beginning to head.
    I know I cannt join this swap this year, but if ya all don't mind I would like to drop in every once in a while to look and ask some questions, so I will be ready for next year.
    Thanks
    Melanie

  • poisondartfrog
    16 years ago

    Hey Melanie-I will be saving you a few seeds of Velvet Queen-I'll let you know when they are ready.
    Starburst Lemon Eclair

  • chrystallake_2007
    16 years ago

    Thanks Poison,
    I am gathering seeds for named varities to expand my garden for next year. WhoooooooooHooo.

  • msprettyky
    16 years ago

    I was gonna just watch from the sidelines but I think I will join. I have teddy bear seeds ready and may be able to harvest another kind. Will let you know!

    Brenda

  • beth_b_kodiak
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    Melanie, I see that the goldfinches are beginning to raid my sunflower seeds. Well, finches are so pretty I can't begrudge them a few seeds. I'll select the best of each color and put net bonnets over them. 100 seeds will give the ten packs of ten to make one trade so I only need to protect one of each type.
    The cheapie net used for shower favors works fine. Last year I bought brown and covered with 2 or 3 layers. It didn't even look bad except up close.
    Alana, that Starburst Lemon Eclaire is very pretty too. About how tall does that one get?
    Brenda REALLY good to have you joining in again.
    Tina, with a bit of luck, You will make it. You should at least get some flowers to enjoy. I never got seed on Kodiak but I did in Fairbanks. Hope you got some seed started.
    Michelle, Hope you can get the Razmatazz seeds. Those are pretty too!
    Dirt under my nails, Sounds like you got some pretty ones too.
    A "swap" will be 100 seeds from a given variety. You will then get back packets of 10 seeds from 10 OTHER varieties. So, even if you have only one or two types this year..... you may get back more types than you have space to plant next year.LOL
    That is my problem with the seeds from last year. Not enough sunny spaces and some of my babies are languishing in dry shady spots. Alive but not doing well.
    I'll try to post photos later today> (I hope to work just a half day.) I really enjoy the pics of your flowers too.
    Beth

  • chrystallake_2007
    16 years ago

    Thanks for the help all.

  • poisondartfrog
    16 years ago

    Beth, Lemon Eclair is about 4 feet tall. I just realized that the photo is upside down-not sure how I did that. I don't remember standing on my head.

  • skohler
    16 years ago

    Beth i have these new ones but don't know the names of them .

    and this one that came up in one of my planters :)

    love to share the ones i have left !!!! when the finches are done with them :))) I have more finches then ever before .
    I planted over 8 different packs of sunflowers here in this flowerbed & these are the only ones that came up & they were all planted at the same time .
    I would love to try planting other type again .

    when will we be sending ?? would like to know about these .
    can some of these be winter sown ????
    do the seeds need to be nicked ???
    How do you store the seeds ?
    When to plant the seeds ?
    sound like a newbie ??? but this was my 1st yr in sunflowers & I flopped at it :)) wanted to know where I might have went wrong in planting the seeds .

    susie

  • beth_b_kodiak
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    oooohh suzie!!!! Nice Sunnies! There are several that look about the color of the top one though yours appears to be double. Not many have two layers of petals.
    #2 looks (to me), most like one mailed to me as "Yellow Branching"
    The bottom one looks pretty standard maybe like ones from bird seed mixtures
    Girl, if you wait until the finches stop eating you won't have any seeds left. LOL I notice that I have more finches this year too and their color seems to be brighter . Maybe it is all those nice oily sunflowers they are stealing.
    We will probably not send the seeds until early fall. That will give the best chance for ripening and harvesting seeds in different parts of the USA. Once ripe and dry, they can be stored in the freezer or any dry place safe from bugs and mice.
    Winter sowing is a definate possibility. Look at all the volunteers that come up from bird food. I never do that because they don't transplant very well and are so easy to just sow in place. (one less thing to transplant, thank goodness)
    No need to nick or presoak or any special preparation.
    Suzie, might you have planted too deep? Sometimes seeds just don't grow and who ever knows why???? Any other ideas out there???

  • chrystallake_2007
    16 years ago

    Even though I cannot join this year, I planted severl kind yesterday I recieved from a generous member. Hopefully I can show some pic's for enjoyment when they finally bloom.
    Thanks, for all the help

  • chrystallake_2007
    16 years ago

    My Lemon Queen is starting to bloom. Yeah......and the others I planted are all coming up...

  • cottageflowers
    16 years ago

    Hello. I never realized how beautiful and diverse sunflowers could be until I looked at the pictures here. I planted some sunflowers but they are the kind that don't have a seed, they have some other kind of thing going on. The bees love them. Last year the birds ate the kind with the seed. What would I trade from my sunflowers? How would I harvest it? I would love to grow some of the flowers pictured here. They are so beautiful and so happy looking.

  • beth_b_kodiak
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    This picture shows the sunflowers after the birds and grasshoppers ( he is still there) have started stealing the seeds. If you have the deep honeycomb craters..... the seeds are gone.
    The two flowers on the right are "autumn sun" in different shades

    Cottageflowers, maybe yours are just not mature enough flower heads to have seeds yet. Or, some ,like Italian White have very small seeds.

  • chrystallake_2007
    16 years ago

    My Lemon Queen is finally blooming I will try to post a pic later. I have also planted several different kinds that have sprouted from generous trader, hopefully they will bloom before the fall.

  • cottageflowers
    16 years ago

    Okay,I would like to join the swap this year. I never realized how beautiful sunflowers could be until this year when I planted mine and how much I enjoy looking at them. Then I saw all of your pics. That sealed it. The flowers are so beautiful and so diverse. So when is the deadline to get the seeds in and where would I send them? It is 100 seeds right, and they can be from the same type of sunflower, correct?

  • skohler
    16 years ago

    BETH NOT SURE OF the names but if you need some seeds to share with others & if I have seeds I sure will be happy to share what I have with your group.

    happy gardening ladies
    susie

  • beckilove
    16 years ago

    I'm afraid I am going to have to drop out of this swap. All but one of my sunflowers has been blown over by the wind, or just plain dying before seeds have set. The only one still living isn't doing great, and I don't know what variety it is, so it wouldn't be much use trying to send anyone those seeds, even if they did go to seed! Maybe next year! Have fun everyone!
    Becki

  • beth_b_kodiak
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    Becki,
    I sure know what you mean and I sympathize. If I had not covered the first blooms with netting I would not have any either. Many have been eaten by birds and insects. Some were knocked over while I was away and some just never really grew due to the extreme drought.
    I had velvet queen ( store bought seeds) that only got about 4 inches across and were very pale. It has been a tough year for gardens!!!
    They advise planting sunflowers every two weeks for a longer bloom season. I did that but the ones I planted later just did not germinate or did not grow well at all.
    Sorry to hear your plants did not give you seeds but I bet there are others in the same boat. well, there is always next year to look forward to.
    Beth

  • sassyd
    16 years ago

    Beth is this an on going swap or will you be starting a new one. I'd love to be in on the next but I would have to buy seeds. My neighbor has lots of pretty sunflowers in front of her house, which is unusual with the sun, they get a little morning sun and then protected, I know she doesn't know the names, but looks to me like the typical yellow with brown center, guess this year with our heat its done them a favor, I always thought sunflowers had to have full sun. But our full sun is a different story anyway, hers has looked great. Well let me know and I may want in on the next one if thats ok.

    Sassy

  • Michelle Reynolds
    16 years ago

    hello

    we just got back from vaction and almost all my sunflowers are flat on the ground, I will have some seeds but not 10 trades of them.
    I have about 50 seeds of terracotta, jade, and autumn sun.
    and about 70 or 80 seeds of a short yellow called sunny face.
    I may still have lots of a 12 foot tall giant called mammoth, it is the only one still standing. the italian whites must tast great, they were eated before the heads evan opened :(.
    none of the seeds I planted later grew eather I don't understand why, they should have been just in time for a fall flowering.
    let me know if I still have enough seeds to join, if not its ok.
    thanks
    michelle

  • beth_b_kodiak
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    Sassy, we had been getting ready to swap seeds this fall but it looks like the crops will not be good for many of us. We may postpone this until next year and try again.
    Michelle, Hope you collect what seeds you can. You can probably make some good swaps with them even if we don't do the "official" swap this year. OR, We could do smaller quantities and still have a good swap. For many of us, if we plant several types.... we only have space for a few of each.
    My Italian whites never even cam up. That was disappointing as I really like those.
    Several gardeners have reported loosing their plants/seeds this year to storms,insects,etc and many seeds just did not grow. It's been a tough summer.
    Well, lets just save what seeds we are able to save and wait a bit to see what we have to work with. Anybody have any other suggestions?????

  • rocky44
    16 years ago

    I would love to join if it is not too late. My seeds are maturing now and I would love to try some new varieties. Let me know if I can participate. thanks

  • firegurl
    16 years ago

    hi
    i haven't checked this thread in awhile. Hope everyone has fun.

    Micyrey- i just saw your message I still have plenty of mammoth sunflower seeds and also your address too so I will mail you out some. If anyone else wants mammoth seeds for sase feel free to email me directly.
    :) Danielle
    Firegurl

  • boballi
    16 years ago

    Unfortunately, it looks like I'm going to drop out of this swap...my single survivor won't have seeds in time.

    Boballi

  • poisondartfrog
    16 years ago

    I'm out as well. Maybe next year will be better!

  • beth_b_kodiak
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    It sure is looking like the sunflowers had a tough season this year.
    I'm going to cancel this swap and hope next year will be better. Hope no one is too upset by this but it looks like most of us have had poor luck with the sunflowers this summer.
    We can spend the winter thinking and planning and then try again next year.
    Beth B

  • msprettyky
    16 years ago

    I thought I would check the thread again and make sure there wasnt a change of plans. Wishful thinking. I just got back from a trip to Italy and all the sunflowers I saw made me think of the swap. Here is a link to my photo ablumn from the trip. I have over 800 pics to go through, so I update it about every other day. If anyone is interested take a look.

    Hope we get to do this swap next year!

    Here is a link that might be useful: italy pics

  • diene
    16 years ago

    Hello All;
    I am posting here because I have sent messages to Beth and not had any response. I am hoping she is well and just too busy but it is so unlike her to be missing for this amount of time. Her last post was early September.
    Are you okay my friend? Does anyone communicate with her regularly? Is she well?
    Thanks.
    diene

  • remy_gw
    16 years ago

    Diene,
    I just came to this post to look for her too. I do hope she is ok.
    Remy

  • remy_gw
    16 years ago

    Mspretty,
    I just looked at your photos. They are wonderful, and I am so jealous!!! I hope to get there one day.
    Remy

  • beth_b_kodiak
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    Hi Gals, sorry for the disappearing act.
    I'm ok but not "OK". if you get the difference.
    This summer has been awful with the heat and no rain also problems in my family and local community..... I have just watched things in the yard and garden drying up and dying. Nothing to trade and so, not much to post
    I am thankful for good health and hope for next year to be better.
    I do hope to get back to trading in a couple years when I get resettled and get another garden going.
    BB

  • remy_gw
    16 years ago

    Hi Beth,
    I'm glad you popped in to say hi.
    Some years are better than others. You know I know that!
    I heard you may be traveling. If you come by this way next year, your always welcome to stop by and visit my little bit of chaos that I call my garden, and I'm a good Niagara Falls tour guide as Maryanne would tell you : )
    Remy

  • beth_b_kodiak
    Original Author
    16 years ago

    Remy, that would be really Kool!!! It would be fun to stop and see people's garden as I'm traveling. I'll try to keep in touch at least a little.
    Thanks
    BB