The days are getting shorter and cooler, and that Fall crispness is definitely in the air. In this week’s episode, we answer a potpourri of questions following up on previous podcast episodes. Tune in for more information on harvesting sunflower seeds, planting garlic, using drip irrigation, and amending soil. Many thanks to our Club Encyclopedia Botanica podcast funders for asking such smart follow-up questions and helping us all get into more detail on these timely topics!
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In this episode, we discuss:
Harvesting sunflower seeds
Follow-up questions on drip irrigation, including installing and winterizing
To harvest sunflower seeds, wait until the petals look dry and the seeds appear full (they are often white with black stripes, though the color can vary by variety). Cut off the head and leave in a warm, dry place until it is completely dry and the seeds fall out.
If you replant the seeds you've saved from F1 varieties, you'll end up with a variety of shapes and sizes of sunflowers in your garden. Microgreens are also a great way to use bulk sunflower seed.
Plant your garlic as late as possible in the fall or early winter (to prevent it from sprouting too early), but before there is any risk that the ground might be frozen.
When installing drip irrigation, bury as much of the main line as possible, or use garden staples to hold it in place out of the way. To get your system running again after winterizing, remove the drip tape or ¼-inch emitter tubing from the beds so you can turn the soil, and then lay the lines back in place.
Fall is a great time of the year to amend your garden beds, but it’s hard to give a specific recommendation that will work for everyone. It’s best to get your soil tested and then amend with lime based on the pH of your soil. When in doubt, follow the instructions on the bag, or in general, add about 1-2 lbs per 4x8 foot bed at the end of each season.
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