sunflower harvesting-when? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

my mammoth sunflowers are tipping over they are so heavy... one is literally pulling the plant down. when do i harvest it. i read somewhere (maybe here lately) to wait until first frost but I don't think they'll make it. some have the little "petal" that are on the seeds off already...some still have them on. thanks for your help.

-- marcee king (, September 13, 2001


It has been a while since I raised any sunflowers but when we did we would cut the heads off as soon as the petals started falling. We would store the heads in the shed (hanging up) until dried. Then we would rake the seeds off and put in a container for storage.

-- r.h. in okla. (, September 13, 2001.

If you can beat the goldfinches to them!

-- (, September 13, 2001.

Hello Marcee, I harvest mine when the plants can no longer support the heads, (fallen over). I cut the flowers off the stalks. I dry the whole flower on the screen suspended in my greenhouse until the leaves of the flower are crumbly. Then I just bang the flowers against the inside of a bucket until all the seeds fall out. Sincerely, Ernest

-- (, September 13, 2001.

Glad to hear other folks solutions. I put onion (grapefruit, orange) bags over the seedheads as soon as the petals BEGIN to drop. That keeps the birds away, and I then harvest them at my leisure once the seedheads begin to dry. I'm not sure if this is the "recommended" way, but the seeds seem to develop more fully, and the birds can't get them. Please give us an accounting when you have discerned the most appropriate advice. GL!

-- Brad (, September 16, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ