[NAFEX] Allelopathic Sunflowers?

Lon J. Rombough lonrom at hevanet.com
Thu May 19 22:39:27 EDT 2005

I've been testing that theory by growing sunflowers in the same area 
for three years.  As far as I can tell, the most they do is slow some 
of the weeds.  If I don't weed, they are just as full of weeds as any 
other area in the garden.  The shade they produce seems to have as much 
effect in slowing weed growth as anything.  Of course there are many 
kinds of sunflowers and it may be that other varieties or species will 
have differing effects.  The person who would really know is Dr. Alan 
Kapuler in Corvallis.  He breeds sunflowers and many vegetables and has 
tried a range of varieties and species of sunflowers.
-Lon Rombough
Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at 
http://www.bunchgrapes.com  Winner of the Garden Writers Association 
"Best Talent in Writing" award for 2003.
On May 19, 2005, at 6:08 PM, Doreen Howard wrote:

Dylan Ford wrote:
  If my memory serves (which is ever less likely), it is a substance
> in sunflower seed hulls that suppress the growth of some plants. Or so 
> I've
> heard.

Yes, the hulls are allelopathic, but the plant roots also secrete a 
hormone that is allelopathic, especially for weeds.  That's a good 
thing.  But, my concern is that if I grow sunflowers in ground I will 
ultimately use for more dwarf fruit trees, will I create problems for 
the trees.

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