Ask a Question forum: Sunflowers/Quick Privacy/BIG PARTY

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Name: Jake
Rochester, NY (Zone 5b)
Mar 27, 2015 3:49 PM CST

New Member here...

I live in Rochester, NY--14619--USDA Zone 5b according to the charts--and want to know the best varieties of sunflowers to plant here and when best to plant them. I planted them in FL and had great results using them for instant privacy and that's my intention here. I'm also looking for other flowers and plants for the same purpose. Renting now so don't and don't have that worked-into the budget for this particular event!!

Also, when to plant the rest of the garden here? Yards (front and back!) are HUGE for city house!! Too big!! Plenty of room for flower, herb and veggie plots!! (And still have too much to mow!) Need instant gratification. Ie: need it to look nice, PRIVATE and something I can do alone that will look wedding-worthy by early July--All on a REALLY TIGHT BUDGET!! The good news is that it's NOT IN BAD SHAPE NOW! Just PLAIN with NO PRIVACY and lots of UGLY CHAINLINK FENCE! PLEASE HELP!

Anyone got a contact in the Army Corps of Engineers??🌻


Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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Mar 27, 2015 3:55 PM CST
Welcome! Jake

Maybe you could post some pictures of your new yard to get a feel for what might be appropriate?

Any climbing plant could use the chain link fence and hide it at the same time. Easy morning glories, sweet peas, thunbergia for example. But they would only be as high as the fence and not necessarily enough for privacy, just something to hide the fence.

And are you asking for suggestions just for a wedding to make the place look nice and not necessarily a vegetable garden?

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Mar 27, 2015 8:49 PM CST
Hi Jake -- and welcome to All Things Plants!!

Oh boy -- "instant gratification" are usually not words that seem to apply to starting new gardens... I take it you are planning a wedding in your yard??

I'd say pretty much any kind of sunflowers will work for you in zone 5b, so plant away... how "instant" do you need stuff, exactly?

Maybe you could do a gazebo with some fast-growing vines on it? Otherwise, i think a bunch of potted plants that are already growing, like geraniums, petunias, impatiens, would liven it up a bit? Maybe just get a couple of really dramatic plants and fill in with some smaller things? LOL, I think we do need a few more details here... whatever you do, I'm pretty sure you will have wonderful memories of the wedding!
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Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
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Mar 27, 2015 9:10 PM CST

Plants Admin

Annuals can give you quick results on a budget. I'm not sure how cold Rochester is now, but if you can plant seeds of some tall annuals soon, they should look good in July. Sunflowers are a great choice, but you could mix in some tall varieties of Cosmos, Cleome, and Nicotiana for a softer, more romantic look. Sweet peas, morning glories, and climbing nasturtiums would cover the fences quickly.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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Mar 28, 2015 12:37 PM CST
zuzu said: I'm not sure how cold Rochester is now, but if you can plant seeds of some tall annuals soon, they should look good in July. Sunflowers are a great choice, but you could mix in some tall varieties of Cosmos, Cleome, and Nicotiana for a softer, more romantic look.

Rochester is south of me and may be warmer, but here on the other side of Lake Ontario and about hour's drive inland it is currently -5C (23F) at 2.30 in the afternoon, the ground is still frozen and covered with snow. I would second cleome, the old fashioned tall ones (newer ones are shorter). Deer don't bother them - I've had trouble growing sunflowers here. If the chipmunks/voles/whatever don't decapitate the seedlings, the deer eat them once they're a bit taller. If right in Rochester, though, wildlife may not be an issue.

Name: Judy
Simpsonville SC (Zone 7b)
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Mar 28, 2015 3:52 PM CST
I used to live in buffalo ny and that was similar to Rochester. Start seeds of sunflowers indoors now with a light set up. I use shop lights with fluorescent bulbs pretty inexpensive. Also morning glory vines. Tall marigolds and zinnias would be good and fast growing. we used to start our veggie and flower seeds mid March and have them in round a little before Memorial Day of right around that weekend. I would always make a "sunflower house" for our kids to sit in and they usually had it by july ish
Name: Keith
West Babylon, NY (Zone 7a)
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Mar 30, 2015 2:37 PM CST
What about permanent privacy like privet hedge, Ivy, or Roses?

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