They are also very useful for food for you and your flock! See why you should grow Russian Mammoth Sunflowers!
As you are planning your garden, hidden away, pouring over your stash of newly arrived seed catalogs. You are staring at vegetables, flowers, fruits and all things “seeds”. Don’t even bother to deny it; I know how it is because I’m doing it, too.
In fairness to you, if everyone would leave you alone with your obsession and not expect you make lunch or fold laundry, you wouldn’t have to resort to hiding.
Well, you’re among friends here and while you’re scribbling away at your seed list for the coming year, I would like to make a suggestion for something to try in your garden. You should grow Russian Mammoth sunflowers.
Why Grow Russian Mammoth Sunflowers
Sunflowers have their obvious delights but these ones we originally decided to try because of the fond memories I had of them from my time living in Russia as a missionary. I’ll never forget the first time I saw a Russian mammoth sunflower, its huge head dangling over the side of a fence looking for all the world like it was trying to choke itself on the fence post.
- A Russian mammoth sunflower is visually stunning not just for its size (they get to be about 8-10 feet and their head diameter can be over 12 inches), but because of its bright, happy color and large, umbrella-like leaves.
- The stalks are a good 3-4 inches in diameter when the soil is good and we have to saw them down at the end of the season; they make great kindling, because they burn fast and hot when dried. Sometimes the heads get so large that the stalk begins to bend but quite often they grow up straight and tall and cut down into orderly shapes for your kindling pile.
- We discovered upon growing them that, apart from beauty, Russian Mammoth sunflowers are practical additions to the homestead. In fact, they can produce over one thousand seeds per head, making them a great supplement for your backyard flock.
- They do take up space, I’m not going to lie, but if you have it, I believe it will be space well used. When drying them, be extra sure to flip the heads repeatedly in order to avoid mildew.
What does the mammoth Russian sunflower need to grow?
- It’s a very low maintenance plant, perfect for beginner gardeners.
- You can start the seeds indoors, or plant directly into the soil when it’s warmed, 1-2 weeks after last frost date.
- Plant seeds 1/2 inch deep, 3-6 inches apart.
- Grow in an open area, as they will need lots of space.
- Russian mammoth sunflowers need lots of sun, so plan for an open sunny area.
Russian mammoth sunflower care:
- Water weekly, at least to 1 inch depth
- Pull weeds as needed
- When seedlings reach 4 inches in height, thin plants to 16 inches apart to allow room to grow.
Have you grown sunflowers before? Will you grow Russian mammoth sunflower in your garden?
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.