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Harvesting Sunflower Seeds.  Toplef10Harvesting Sunflower Seeds.  1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Harvesting Sunflower Seeds.  I22gcj10Harvesting Sunflower Seeds.  14dhcg10

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Harvesting Sunflower Seeds.

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ander217
Odd Duck
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Harvesting Sunflower Seeds.  Empty Harvesting Sunflower Seeds.

Post  Chopper 8/14/2010, 7:39 pm

When I came home my sunflowers were tall and stount. Now they are drooping. When my d-i-law saw that she said, "Time to bag the heads." I guess the drooping means seed time. She suggested burlap - that is what her dad used - but I used supermarket plastic bags. I imagine cheesecloth ould work too. This is while they are still on the stem and growing.

Does anyone know anything else about harvesting the seeds?
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Chopper

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Post  PNG_Grandma 8/14/2010, 8:40 pm

This is interesting! We have sunflowers blooming all around our yards, compliments of our friendly birds. Al has 5 bird feeders and at one time was including sunflower seeds. Some of the plants were very tall, well over 8 or 9', and some were shorter. Some had really thick tree-trunk type stalks and some were balancing on very thin stems that bent and swayed easily. Some of the flowers were dark orange and others were varying shades of golden to pale yellow...and we didn't plant any of them! OK...now how do I harvest the seeds?? I bag the heads?? Then what...how long do I leave the bags on their droopy little heads? My neighbors are gonna think I've totally lost it! flower
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Post  Chopper 8/14/2010, 8:51 pm

That is where I am - heads bagged - now what? LOL. Hopefully someone knows.
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Post  PNG_Grandma 8/14/2010, 8:56 pm

Does this mean we're bag ladies??? lol!
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Post  Wyldflower 8/14/2010, 9:03 pm

ohhh.. my cilantro bolted, and I now have flowers and some green seed heads ... I think I'll try saving the seed (coriander) this way! I can try saving dill seed, too... I'm heading outside with the cheesecloth now!
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Post  Chopper 8/16/2010, 2:45 am

Wyldflower wrote:ohhh.. my cilantro bolted, and I now have flowers and some green seed heads ... I think I'll try saving the seed (coriander) this way! I can try saving dill seed, too... I'm heading outside with the cheesecloth now!

For dill, I cut the head when it is reddish to brown and put the head end into a paper bag and secure it around the stems with a rubber band. The same would likely work for coriander.

Btw, I realized the plastic bags needed drainage and even with that I think I will replace with cheesecloth - they need to breathe and to avoid getting too moist.
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Chopper

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Post  trustinhart 8/16/2010, 7:14 am

Great thread this morning, thanks for posting!! Have a great day in the garden!! Harvesting Sunflower Seeds.  61949
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Post  Retired Member 1 8/16/2010, 7:49 am

Certainly not an expert here since this is my first year with purposed sunflowers. I used net tulle to bag mine for air circulation and figure I'll harvest them when the seeds start to fall into the bag. The only tulle I had was Christmas colours -- red, green, and blue. Certainly is colourful! Thankfully the neighbours already know I'm certifiable, so they are taking it all in stride. Harvesting Sunflower Seeds.  Icon_biggrin
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Post  1chichi 8/16/2010, 9:37 am

I'm thrilled it's almost time to harvest sunflowers Harvesting Sunflower Seeds.  Icon_flower
It's my 1st time growing them, so I'm no expert.
I'll post link to my Sunflower Gallery in separate thread.
Here's a few links.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oumO0BIy7Z4&feature=related

http://hubpages.com/hub/grow-sunflowers
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Post  Odd Duck 8/16/2010, 10:57 am

I failed to bag my sunflowers early enough, but the cardinals were soooo pretty!
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Post  ander217 8/17/2010, 10:51 am

One thing I know about sunflowers - they get heavy. The one in my avatar was planted in Mel's Mix in an 8" deep box. When it drooped, it started pulling right out of the ground. I had to tie it to the fence to keep it from falling over. Next year I won't plant any sunflowers in my boxes. They will go into beds in the ground.

When I was a girl our beekeeper grew 8 ft. tall sunflowers all around his garden. He cut the stalks when the seeds formed and hung them upside down over an old sheet in his corncrib to dry. He would cut off the heads and bring them in as needed during the winter to feed the birds at his window feeder, and the sheet caught any seeds which spilled out. He gave me a dried sunflower once, and head had to have been at least a foot or more in diameter. How I wish I had saved some of those seeds for planting. My Mammoth heads have never gotten nearly that big.

Does anyone else grow sunflowers that large?

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Post  Chopper 8/17/2010, 12:48 pm

ander217 wrote: He cut the stalks when the seeds formed and hung them upside down over an old sheet in his corncrib to dry.

How does one know about the seeds? I see seeds in there but do not know if they are mature enough. Do you wait for the mini-flowers/yellow to fall?
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Post  ander217 8/17/2010, 8:17 pm

The petals were completely dried when our neighbor cut his plants. You want to make sure the seeds are fully formed and fairly dry, then you can finish drying them after they are cut. Crack a seed open now and then and check it.
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Post  Odd Duck 8/19/2010, 10:09 am

Yep, wait until the stalks have turned brown before cutting. Once they are very dry (after hanging or just laying out someplace dry - protect from bugs!) then you can rub 2 heads together, face to face, to get the seeds out easier without tearing up your hands. Then use however you like. The easiest way I know is boiling them in heavily salted water for about 10 minutes, then drain (without rinsing) and lay on a cookie sheet and bake on low heat in the oven (around 250'F) until dry and they taste "done" not raw.
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Post  has55 12/21/2016, 10:35 am

I know some of you grow sunflowers. I hope this helpful.
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Post  camprn 12/24/2016, 1:40 pm

That was nice. Very Happy

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Post  sanderson 12/24/2016, 2:23 pm

I had no idea how to harvest mature sunflowers.

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Post  Scorpio Rising 11/1/2017, 8:01 pm

Anybody have any ideas about me saving a couple heads for the birds or squirrels mid-winter...should I put them in the freezer?  They are cut and dried...sitting on my kitchen island!  I didn’t grow them for food for me!  They are super fun!sunny
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