STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — When something’s troubling my boys before bedtime, I explain to them to picture being someplace else — to think of cupcakes with tons of fluffy white frosting and of going for walks as a result of purple-hued hills of aromatic lavender — right up until their minds settle into a better put. Nicely, following a 7 days of ups and downs in the restaurant information plus a 9/11 somberness, I will acquire that information and change to the sunflowers close to Staten Island for a momentary minor carry.
James Hannah of Tottenville observes the self-pollinating blooms in his personal fruitful backyard garden. He shared, “Sunflowers in our garden are now fully-blossomed, with the seed heads drying. Two excellent varieties are, for the biggies, Mammoth and, for numerous heads with mahogany-coloured petals, Velvet Queen.”
A sixth generation Staten Islander and avid grower, Hannah clarifies the phenom of a Helianthus and how to manage them.
He notes, “Each seed in the seed head has a modest flower. That dries up finally. The stem holding the seed head will also lose its inexperienced shade and dry up. When that has took place, reduce off the seed head and brush off the dried-up compact flowers. Then allow the seed head dry additional, ideally indoors.”
Hannah claimed that soon after about two weeks, the seeds will be simply detachable. He instructs, “Save them in a interesting, dry put till future period. That is all there is to it. Do get to the seed head prior to the birds and squirrels do, nevertheless. If need to have be, wrap the seed head in protecting netting.”
Hannah begins the seeds in spring in particular person 2-inch wide containers with potting soil.
“The plastic four-packs of business growers function nicely, as well. They germinate in a pair of times. They want sunlight to keep away from acquiring leggy. When the next leaves are perfectly-formulated, they can be planted out,” he mentioned.
Hannah adds a hopeful be aware. He claims, “There’s continue to some increasing temperature ahead, so sunflowers must make it to total blossom.” Up coming up: he claims it’s time to plant slide lettuce.
Whether or not they get to the seed stage, sunflowers are a triumphant piece of a backyard, the end result of a total summer’s really worth of weeding and watering.
Just after these intense winds and rain from Hurricane Ida this 7 days, it is a smaller miracle that one particular, 8- or so foot specimen nonetheless stands in our West Brighton lawn. Its yellow petals bring me thoroughly back to the days we expended with our boys at the Decker Farm and how the sunflowers dwarfed their then-toddler bodies.
It’s encouraging to see Mom Mother nature carrying on as standard, as she would any other September, just bringing our interest to a different fruitful period.
Pamela Silvestri is Progress Foodstuff Editor. She can be attained at [email protected].