I can’t even begin to tell you how busy I felt today. It’s not that there were necessarily many items on my to-do list, in fact, the list consisted of one thing – harvest sunflowers. Harvest, I indeed did! Since discussing sunflowers has managed to turn into a series of sorts, I figured I’d go ahead and write about the variety that’s just now coming into bloom.
One advantage of reading blog posts is benefiting from the experience of others. Therefore, you won’t find me writing about anything that I don’t have at least 2 or 3 seasons worth of experience with. This is my second year growing ProCut Gold sunflowers, and as always, I think they’re total superstars.
Unlike the varieties we’ve looked at in the past, the disks in the center of these sunnies are not dark, but rather range from green to yellow depending upon how long their petals have been open to the world.
Gold, in congruence with other members of the ProCut family, are pollenless. This means that they will not produce seeds unless pollinated by bees carrying that wonderful yellow powder from neighboring productive varieties. They’re day neutral, meaning that they’ll flower regardless of the length of nights/days. This makes any of the ProCut family ideal for succession planting. In order to maintain a continuous supply of sunflowers, I like planting seeds every two weeks until the first week of August. Gold also boasts an early bloom time at around 55 days, at least in my experience.
While I love and enjoy Gold, there are several small things about the variety which I consider negative in regards to production of quality cut stems. Foremost, flowers seem to progress very quickly when compared to other varieties that I’ve grown. For example, it’s no doubt that it’s always best to catch sunflowers when they’ve just opened – or even before the petals have completely unfurled when insect pressure is at an all time high in the peak of summer. But, let’s be honest – no one is perfect. There are definitely times when harvesting has to wait. I find that with Gold, a few days delay in harvest can sometimes translate into an “overdeveloped” looking center disk. With this, the center color become less crisp and I can’t help but feel as the flowers begin look “dingy” or “tired” if such a thing is even possible.
Planted at a 9″x 9″ spacing, these sunflowers did incredibly well. Like all the other sunflowers that I grow, they’re totally easy to direct seed after frost has gone for good. While the height of the flowers reached just over 3ft, I can only assume that their seemingly stunted stature was due to monsoon-like rain that they endured for the vast majority of their growth period. Flower size varied slightly, but was overall consistent. In addition to this, about 75% of flowers opened within about 36 hours of each other, with the rest following shortly thereafter. Until I try more varieties like Gold, it will be a permanent member of my garden. Though it may have some faults, when picked at its peak, Gold is absolutely gorgeous.
Hope this has helped! If you’ve ever grown this sunflower, your experience may have been completely different than my own – that’s the beauty of gardening! Please feel free to share your experiences growing ProCut Gold in the comments! I really enjoy hearing the success of others! Much love!