I love sunflowers and have been planting them from seed (I harvest and keep the seeds each year) for several years now. This year I had a hard time....I would plant the seeds and something (I'm guessing birds because the discarded shells were left behind) would dig them up. I had a few volunteers grow on their own and those have started blooming. I had a few that I planted take root and those are getting big. Then I also started some in my green house and transplanted them outside in early June...those are the stragglers, but they are growing. Because of this unintentional staggering, I think I'll have a pretty steady sunflower bloom through fall. I'm kind of glad it worked out this way.