It’s been fantastic travelling around Lynn Valley and seeing more and more sunflower patches out in full bloom. Perhaps they are showing up more now, thanks to the backdrop of our recent grey weather!
Some of our own flowers are still to emerge, and others are drooping. But just because their petals may no longer be perky, don’t forget that your sunflowers are far from finished. For many creatures, the best is yet to come!
Behind the loose, light-coloured seed coverings in the flower head, the recognizable, black and white-striped sunflower seeds have been developing (something I myself didn’t quite notice until I knocked off some of that top fluffy layer!) Whether you are harvesting your seeds for human consumption or for our feathered friends, it just takes a bit of attention to get the most yield from your sunflower patch.
There seems to be a variety of opinions as to process, but the easiest, most straightforward method of bringing the seed heads indoors for drying is described here. I have seen other accounts that suggest tying a paper – not plastic – bag over the flower head to ensure seeds aren’t lost when you’re hanging it and moving it around inside your house or heated garage.
If you have a number of flowers, you might want to experiment and leave some out in the garden au naturel, for the benefit of adventuresome birds and squirrels. While our damp climate will no doubt result in some rot, we think the birds around here are probably used to foraging for the good bits.
If you’ve got any sunflower harvest tips or tricks, do let us know at [email protected]!