Sunflower : American Giant Sunflowers
Have you ever driven past a field of monster Sunflowers and been astonished by their massive presence? Well, these are them. Not only are these the tallest Sunflowers we’ve ever grown but they have the strongest stalks almost worthy of young sapling status. These competition-winning American Giants are single-stemmed with ginormous, 10” wide, brilliant yellow-petaled, russet-brown centered flowers reaching toward the sun! In the summer, they make amazing border hedges. In the fall, they are gigantic feeders as the birds feast on their huge seeds. Height: Up to 16’.Asteraceae Helianthus annuus
These slender, wedge shaped insects get their name because they have a tendency to jump when approached. They are quite common but don’t usually occur in large numbers and are rarely a big problem in vegetable gardens. They most often attack beets, potatoes and beans (and occasionally other crops) and can spread virus diseases such as Curly Top. They feed by sucking juices out of the plant and commonly cause necrotic patches where they inject toxins into the plant.
Generally you don’t need to do anything about leafhoppers, natural predators will keep them under control. If they do become a problem you can try washing the nymphs off of the plants with a strong jet of water.
Image: John A. Weidhass, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org