The Q&A Archives: Weed Control in Sunflowers

Question: I am going to plant 2 acres of sunflowers for attracting and feeding wildlife and am looking for a way to control weeds until the sunflowers can take care of themselvs. Are there any herbicides that will work in this situation?

Answer: A friend of mine who has a market garden grows rows of sunflowers each year. He said that sunflowers grow so quickly--his grew about one foot this week--once they germinate that weed control hasn't been necessary. "The sunflowers just outrun the weeds," was his comment. He recommends planting them fairly thickly so weeds have less space to invade. Weeds can also provide food and shelter for wildlife and insects that birds will eat. You might want to try planting this year without any herbicides. My friend turns under all the sunflower stalks, weeds, etc. at the end of the year to add organic matter to the soil. Good luck with your wildlife habitat!

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