The cheerful sunflower is a staple flower in many gardens. Once you have enjoyed a season of bright yellow sunflower blooms, why not enjoy the seeds they produce as well? Read on to learn about everything you need to harvest your own sunflower seeds compliments of Clippings Floral Design.
How to Harvest your Sunflower Seeds
🌻 Once the back of your sunflower heads turn from green to yellow/brown and the outer yellow petals wither and drop you know the sunflower kernels are ripe. You can leave the heads on the plants to dry however to avoid losing the seeds to hungry birds it is best to cut them and dry them in a protected area.
🌻 To do this simply cut the sunflower stem with a sharp knife or pruning shears about six inches below the head. Remove the leaves and shake to remove any pests that may be hiding in the flower head.
🌻 Tie a string around the stem and hang the head facing down in a shady area that’s dry, with good air circulation. A shed works well for this.
🌻 Place a bowl or bucket under the head to catch any seeds that may fall out while drying.
🌻 When the backs of the heads turn completely brown, you’re ready to harvest the seeds. Just rub your hand or the back of a knife over the seed head and let them fall into your bowl/bucket.
🌻 Some gardeners like to eat the seeds raw, right off the dried flower. Crack the shell with your teeth and enjoy the earthy taste of raw sunflower seeds. But if you prefer the roasted taste all you have to do is preheat the oven to 400°F, spread them in a single layer on an ungreased roasting pan, and roast for five minutes then enjoy!
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