Sunflower – Harvesting Seed

Q: Please tell me how to harvest sun flowers. I would like to have seeds for next year and let the birds have the rest.

A: The back of a completely ripe sunflower head is brown and dry, with no green left in it. Birds are the best indicator of harvestime. Sparrows and wrens will work for hours removing individual seeds as they fly back and forth under the seedhead. Cover the flower with cheesecloth to protect the seeds from hungry wildlife. It is possible that your sunflower blooms might rot from all of the rain this summer. When the seedhead seems mature and dry, cut it off and let it dry completely in your attic or carport. The seeds can be rubbed off with a gloved hand.

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