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Why Sunflowers Need Space to Grow

My acquaintances and I possess a clandestine sanctuary, an age-old residential hamlet nestled in the outskirts. The ecological milieu there is superb, adorned with expansive swathes of sunflowers adorning the landscape. During the summertime, one can behold a resplendent floral vista akin to an ocean of vibrant blooms, while autumn bestows upon us the opportunity to pluck the succulent fruits. Our fondness for this haven is not exclusive, for a corporation also harbors sanguine aspirations of lavish investment to metamorphose it into a rustic haven of cultural tourism.

Throughout the seasons, my comrades and I bear witness to the sunflowers’ growth: in May, we witness their rapid ascent; in June, we are captivated by their blossoms carpeting the terrain, unveiling a spectacle of a yellow floral expanse; come October, the sunflowers commence their bountiful yield of sunflower seeds. In concurrence, the rural cultural tourism park opens its gates as planned, yet during the expansive harvest activities in the countryside, we are only able to procure sunflower trays adorned with desiccated fruits.

This predicament perplexes me greatly. This abode possesses an abundance of sunshine, pristine air, and fertile soil, furnishing it with all the prerequisites for sunflower growth. Then why do sunflowers thrive solely within the confines of trays, accompanied by withered melon seeds? Does the growth of sunflowers harbor a concealed enigma?

The verity is that once planted, sunflowers are deprived of ample light. Following irrigation and fertilization, their growth and fruition are no longer a cause for concern. However, if one desires their optimal development, characterized by a grandiose flower head and plump seeds, a pivotal juncture arises: when the sunflower attains three to five true leaves and reaches a height of approximately 50 to 60 centimeters, it must be transplanted. Maintaining an appropriate distance between each seedling is imperative, ensuring against overcrowding.

When sunflowers thrive and necessitate copious nutrient absorption, an insufficient gap between them facilitates an ardent struggle for resources. Their leaves obstruct one another’s access to sunlight, engendering an imbalance in pollination—much like a group of individuals vying for a limited resource, inevitably resulting in inequitable distribution. Some individuals garner more, while others receive less.

Upon reaching the stage where the sunflower blooms into a fruiting receptacle, the restricted spacing impedes its growth potential, stifling its capacity for expansion. Hindered by this limited growth space and uneven pollination, how can one expect the production of plump melon seeds? Alas, this company disregards the growth principles governing sunflowers, fixated instead on the superficially fruitful outcome of densely packed cultivation. It erroneously surmises that a greater density of planting will yield an augmented crop output. Alas, the outcome is undeniably lamentable.

Maintaining an adequate distance and allowing for ample room—this is the survival doctrine of the sunflower, as well as the paradigm for our personal development and existence.