Harvesting Sunflower Seeds | Green Patches - Mediterranean Gardening

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Harvesting Sunflower Seeds

1 comment
Some time ago I decided to try to grow sunflowers from seed.  This was my second attempt at growing from seed, as my first was a disaster.  I took some extra care, and after a few weeks the seedlings appeared.  They grew quickly and soon out grew the pot that they were in.  It was time for a nasty decision.  The instructions said to grow two, but to only keep one!  So which one was I going to keep?

Since one of the seedlings did not look as promising as the other one, and don't ask me how I made that judgement, I thinned and separated the two flowers, and replanted the lucky seedling in a bigger pot.

My Sunflower after a few weeks

Waiting for the flower to bloom was a daily display of layers of leaves peeling.  Row after row until one day a speck of color appeared.

Just about ready to bloom
Finally after about a month I was blessed with a cheerful, sunny, sunflower.  I know that they are called sunflowers because they follow the sun, but for me are such cheerful flowers they are like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.  

One word of advice when planning sunflowers, take care where the sun rises and sets on your location, because the flower head will point towards the sun, and you may end up with a set of flowers looking away from you rather than at you :)

My sunflower in full bloom
All good things come to an end and my sunflower withered and died after just a month.  I decided to keep the flower head to see if I can harvest the seeds.  I have hundreds of seeds left in the original packet, but seed harvesting is such a rewarding activity I try to do it with every plant that I grow.

I had never harvested sunflower seeds before but I know they were in the head so I grabbed it with both hands and gently pulled it backwards to 'break' the surface layer and reveal the seeds inside. It was the easiest thing to do since sunflower seeds are quite big and you can just pick them out of the head and place them in a jar.

harvesting sunflower seeds
How sunflower seeds are harvested.
There you are, from two seeds, to one flower, to lots of seeds, the life of a sunflower.  Nature is just amazing.

1 comment: