The Garden Helper

Helping Gardeners Grow Their Dreams since 1997.

No-dash-here, you've found The Real Garden Helper! Gardening on the Web since 1997

Harvesting My Sunflowers Now?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
« Prev thread: Harvesting Lettuce?| Next thread: Harvesting potatoes »
Back to Thread index
by ArmyWifeGardener on July 18, 2006 03:38 PM
This is my first year growing sunflowers. I started with seeds. I have several varieties but my questions refer to the Mammoth Sunflowers in my garden.

The problem is that my sunflowers are so bent over and falling they look terrible and I am having a hard time even keeping them staked up. And today I saw the birds trying to eat the seeds.

I have plucked a couple seeds and there is "meat" in them.

The outer little flower like things on top of the seeds (sorry, don't know what they are called!) rub off very easily and the seeds are easy to pull out, yet don't just fall out with rubbing.

The seeds on a couple of the heads are black. The seeds on a couple others are white with a black stripe. (They are the same kind of sunflower... at least the seeds came from the same envelope!)

The backs of the flowers are light green and beginning to yellow.

My goal is to be able to harvest the seeds from the Mammoths, roast them, and eat them! I have some smaller sunflowers that the birds can have...

I really do not want to cover the heads with bags to prevent the birds from eating them. I would really like to chop their heads off now (of the flowers, not the birds!) and hang them to dry. Partly because the garden just looks terrible and partly because I would like to pull everything out of that section to replant some other things while I can.

Can I cut the heads off now or is it too early?

And if I do cut them off now, how would you suggest I dry them... we are VERY humid down here in UCLA... Upper Corner Lower Alabama. Can I do it quickly in the oven like herbs? Over a few days in the car? (Have heard of doing this with herbs but haven't tried it before.)Or will they dry just hung up outside? I do not have an attic but I do have a shed with a window.

Thanks for your help! Here is a picture taken about 6 weeks ago of my daughter and the sunflowers in the garden.... when the flowers were just opening up and still pretty!

* * * *
by tkhooper on July 19, 2006 12:20 AM
If you don't want to put a bag over them try some netting. I save the netting off of the bags of onions I buy. It works great for a number of things.

* * * *

Active Garden Forum

« Prev thread: Harvesting Lettuce?| Next thread: Harvesting potatoes »
Back to Thread index

Search The Garden Helper: