Having sunflowers on your homestead can offer several benefits!
Sunflowers have always been my favorite – ever since I was a kid – and I just can’t get enough of their beauty, many uses and how easy they are to grow. Let me tell you why you need sunflowers on your homestead…
Aesthetic Appeal: Sunflowers are beautiful and vibrant plants with large, showy flowers. They can enhance the visual appeal of your homestead and add a touch of natural beauty to the landscape.
Pollinator Attraction & Great Companions: Sunflowers are excellent at attracting bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. The nectar and pollen-rich flowers act as a magnet for these beneficial insects, which play a crucial role in pollinating crops and ensuring their successful reproduction. Sunflowers are also great companions for pumpkins, squash, corn, lettuce, tomatoes and many more!
Natural Windbreak: Sunflowers can act as a natural windbreak or wind barrier on your homestead. Their tall, sturdy stems and large leaves create a dense barrier that can help protect other delicate plants from strong winds, minimizing damage and providing a more favorable microclimate. They also make a great temporary privacy fence!
Soil Improvement: Sunflowers have deep, robust root systems that can penetrate compacted soil, break it up, and improve its structure. They are known as bioaccumulators, meaning they can extract nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, and heavy metals from the soil. When the sunflower plants are eventually turned back into the soil as organic matter, they contribute to enriching the soil’s fertility.
Wildlife Habitat: Sunflowers can provide a valuable habitat for various wildlife species. Birds are particularly attracted to sunflower seeds, making them a fantastic food source. Allowing the sunflowers to go to seed and leaving the flower heads standing after blooming can create a feeding ground for birds, enhancing biodiversity on your homestead.
Potential Harvest: Sunflowers produce edible seeds that can be harvested and used for culinary purposes or as a nutritious snack. The seeds are rich in healthy fats, proteins, and other essential nutrients. Harvesting sunflower seeds can be an enjoyable activity for you and your family. We also love to feed some to our chickens and emu as a treat, as well as grown sunflower microgreens to add to our salads.
Educational Opportunities: If you have children or are interested in learning more about plants and gardening, sunflowers offer great educational opportunities. They have a fast growth rate, and observing their life cycle – from seed germination to flowering – can be a fascinating learning experience.
I created this Sunflowers Summer Workbook for my kids. It’s 14 fun-filled pages consisting of: Fun Facts About Sunflowers, Vocabulary, Sentence Writing, Word Search, Counting, Graphing & Coloring for elementary kids. You can grab a copy for FREE. Just download, print & let your kids have fun learning about sunflowers this summer!
Sustainable Energy Source: Sunflower seeds can also be used for producing oil, which can be used as a biofuel or in cooking. Growing sunflowers for oil production can contribute to your homestead’s sustainability goals and reduce reliance on non-renewable energy sources.
Income Opportunity: Sunflowers are easy to grow and low maintenance. You can grow a cut sunflower garden to sell your harvest to flower shops, sell by the stem, or sell as your own bouquets at Farmers Markets or a roadside stand! It’s a great way to earn some extra income. You can also sell homemade seeds, oil and sunflower microgreens. Get creative with sunflowers and scale out your business as a sunflower farmer. I shop for my sunflower seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. They have excellent varieties of colors and sizes and a ProCut line.
Overall, sunflowers are versatile, attractive, and beneficial plants that can bring numerous advantages to your homestead, from ecological benefits to potential harvest and educational and income opportunities. If you’re considering growing some on your homestead, make sure to check out Sunflower Steve on Instagram for some inspiration. He’s my favorite sunflower farmer and you’ll LOVE his passion for what he does!
Comment below and let us know what plans you have to add sunflowers to your homestead.