There are many good reasons for growing sunflowers in the garden not least because of their large yellow flower heads. And then there’s the competitive element to see who can grow the tallest which is a great way of introducing kids to gardening. But neither of these are included in the top five reasons which listed in an article which I came across on the Gardening Channel website.

Aside from adding beauty, sunflowers have a number of uses in the organic garden. These striking, colorful flowers, which come in a wide variety of sizes, grow quite well under organic conditions, and some breeds are capable of reaching heights of six feet or more by summer?s end.
Here are five uses for sunflowers and seeds that may surprise you:

1. Sunflowers Attract Butterflies and Birds

The showy flowers are much beloved by both butterflies and birds for their nectar, and for the latter, their seed heads can also become a source of food later in the year. Now, if you are trying to harvest the seeds be ready for the birds to eat them. To protect the seeds, once the seeds are almost ready to harvest, cover the sunflower head with a paper bag.

2. Sunflowers as Botanical Screens

Given their height and profusion, they also make great botanical screens. For instance, a circle of sunflowers planted around your compost pile will hide it from general view ? and your sunflowers will grow up strong and happy from all the nutrients in the compost.
See more at the Gardening Channel