Why you Should Consider Growing Sunflowers in your Garden

With their sunny faces that constantly follow the angle of the sun, sunflowers are nature's answer to good health and fun.






Sunflowers are Mother Nature's smiling face but there is more to these cheery flowers than just their sunny smiles. Did you know that sunflowers produce plenty of pollen to attract butterflies and bees, as well as attract wildlife and birdlife to a suburban garden?




Good reasons to plant sunflowers in your garden

Sunflowers are not only pretty to look at, but they also have more than a few other benefits that you should know about and that will be sure to give you plenty of reasons to plant sunflowers in a sunny spot in the garden.


1. Pure goodness

Sunflower seeds are packed with vitamins and minerals and are delicious enough to eat on their own or to add to a fresh green salad. The vitamins packed into a single sunflower seed include vitamins E, B1 and B6, as well as Copper, Iron, Manganese, Selenium and Zinc, all of which our body needs for excellent good health. All you need is about 30 grams of sunflower seeds a day to give your body a health boost and that is exactly why sunflower seeds are considered a superfood.

Bet you also didn't know that sunflower seeds can be part of a healthy diet. Instead of carb-loaded and high sodium snacks for lunch. Make yourself a healthy salad filled with sunflower and pumpkin seeds and reap the benefits.



Harvest sunflower seeds when the flower head starves to go brown and dry. If you don't have time to do it immediately, cover the head with an old stocking to prevent the birds from eating your supply of sunflower seeds.



To prepare sunflower seeds for consumption, you can eat them as is or you can roast them in the oven. Keep in mind that the shells of sunflower seeds are packed with fibre and are good for intestinal health. If you want to remove the shells, use a rolling pin to crack the shells to make it easier to remove them.

The fats contained in sunflower seeds are of the good variety and are filled with protein, making them the perfect choice for adding to any weight loss program. A word of caution, be sure to check that you are not allergic to sunflower seeds and only eat small portions of 30 grams or less a day.





2. Attract wildlife and birdlife

Sunflower seeds are not only beneficial to us but they are also loved by a host of wildlife and birdlife. Once your sunflowers reach maturity, wildlife and birds will flock to feed on their nutritious seeds, so it is a good idea to harvest the seeds as soon as you can.

Sunflowers attract a wild variety of wildlife to a suburban garden, and you can expect to see plenty of butterflies and moths, birds and bees, and even squirrels, rabbits and hedgehogs if you are situated close to the countryside. Not only do the flowers attract bees, their flowers produce so much pollen that you can expect to see different kinds of bees feeding on the sunflower heads. That's why, if you are keeping bees, it is good to have sunflowers close to the hive.









3. Decorate your home with fresh flowers

Sunflowers don't just look good in a sunny spot in the garden, you can bring freshly cut sunflowers into the home as well. Always cut the flowers early in the morning when it is still cool. Fill a clean vase or container with water and pop in a piece of cut chicken wire to hold the stems in place. Cut the sunflowers at different heights and put them on display.





4. Make your own birdseed

Growing sunflowers for their seeds is fun for the kids and they can learn all about birdlife by feeding the birds that come into the garden. Show them how to recycle plastic containers and turn them into a bird feeder and then sit and watch all the different types of birds that visit.





5. Teach children about gardening

Because sunflowers are so easy to grow, they are the perfect plants for children to plant in the garden or in their own special patch. All you need is well-drained soil in a sunny spot and a few sunflower seeds. With lots of love, the seeds will start to show in about 7 to 10 days and then they need to be watered regularly. When the weather is hot, place a layer of mulch around the base of the plants. After about 8 weeks the plants will start to flower and produce their sunny smiling faces.








6. Improve the soil in your vegetable garden

Did you know that farmers grow sunflower seeds to enrich the soils and rid the soils of heavy metals? Sunflowers are phytoremediators which means that they cleanse the soil so that it is ready for planting crops. If your garden has been overplanted and plants are suffering, clean out a small space and start planting sunflowers to replenish goodness in the soil.








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