a0c8c
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Sunflower Harvesting

I have a question about getting seeds from sunflowers. I read online that you're supposed to wait until the flower is dry, but does that mean the entire flower, or just the inside part? I've gotten some seeds from flowers that were completely brown all around, but also from some that broke off but were still green on the back of the flower, but completely dry on the inside. They all seem like they have kernels in them(with the exception of a few seeeds), but I'm not sure if they're good. I kept them seperate just in case.

I only have two mammoth sunflowers so I don't want to mess up harvesting them when they start drying.

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

The seeds are supposed to be ready when the back of the head turns yellow.
Last year, when I grew a whole bunch of them, I cut them off (leaving a good "handle of stem) when the entire back of the head turned yellow, then "processed" them by breaking of all the bracts (the triangular collar around the flower and knocking out any seed that had holes in it -- there were some kind of caterpillars living in them. Sometimes I had to "follow" the line of holey seeds until the caterpillar was located in the last seed. Sometimes, the caterpiillars were living in the spongy back of the head part. A bamboo skewer was useful for evicting them. Then I hung them upside down near the ceiling to dry completely.

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nes
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Location: Rural Ottawa, ON

With my regular sunflowers I just waited until the petals all fell and the flower looked tried out then chopped them down :). I also threw all the seeds into the bed for next year. But I'd follow apps advice for sure!

If you're worried about birds you're going to want to keep an eye out as the seeds are ready.
Vanessa raising organic vegetables, livestock, wildflowers, and family in zone 5A.

a0c8c
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So the ones that were completely dry are good, but the ones I had that were still green might not be? I didn't have a choice with them, something bent the stem and it broke.

Thankfully, no caterpillar things yet.



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