Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Saving Sunflower Seeds

What do you do after your sunflowers have died? Save the seeds!

To save seeds from sunflowers, first you need to wait for the plants to die off. When the flower blooms, the seeds are pollinated and grow. During these few weeks, the sunflowers will start to look droopy and the stems will turn from green to brown.
Once the heads have dried off, now is the time to harvest them to extract the seeds. For a home garden, you can get away with using a pair of scissors to cut the heads. This is also the time to remove the stalks from the garden.
After allowing a few more days for the heads to dry further, it is time to extract the seeds. Setup a bin over where you are extracting the seeds as they will go everywhere.
On the surface, there is a layer of florets above the layer of seeds. Brush this layer away with your fingers first.
Now the seeds can be seen, neatly packed in the head of the sunflower.

Using your fingers, briskly rub the seeds to detach them from the flower head. This is a very satisfying feeling.
When all the seeds have been removed, you will have a mix of seeds and chaff. You can use your breath or a fan to blow away the chaff.

Save your seeds in a bag and store them in a cool, dry location until next spring.
And that's it! You now can regrow the seeds from the sunflowers you grew next year.

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