Question of the Month:
Q: Can you harvest your sunflower seeds to replant the following season?
A: Yes, defintely! The only catch is that most sunflower varieties are F1 hybrids which means that the offspring of your saved seed will have different qualities than it's parent. We think that the varied shapes and sizes of the flowers from saved seed are fun, but if you're growing sunflowers for a specific purpose, you may want to consider buying some new seed for the 2018 season.
Harvesting sunflowers seeds:
1. Let all of the petals on the plant die back and dry out. When the back of the flower head (or the bracts) turns from green to brown the seeds are ready to harvest. While your plant is drying, you can cover the head with a fine mesh, using a rubber band to secure the mesh around the stem, to help keep birds and other pests from turning your seed into lunch.
2. Cut the head off the plant about 5 inches below the flower head (so you have something to hang on to!).
3. Place head in a box to dry out completely and then use a fork or your fingers to remove the seeds from the head. Dried seeds can be stored in a ziplock bag and kept in a cool, dark place. If dried and stored properly, the seed is viable up to 3 years after harvest.
Pro Tip: Sunflower seed sprouts into our favorite type of microgreen! For more on growing your own microgreens, check out the following resources:
If you're already starting to think about seed ordering for the 2018 season, remember that you can always use the code EBPODCAST at checkout for %15 off of your Seattle Seed Co order anytime!