A few of our neighbors have complimented us on our sunflowers this year. I have to admit it is nice to occasionally have your ego stroked. In the past we had a small sunflower bed in the far corner of our property and usually tried to stagger the plot by size and color. This year we grew our sunflowers right in the main garden. We chose a breed from the Seed Savers Exchange called “Titan”. The review claimed that they could reach nearly 14 feet with heads that may span close to 2 feet across. Our corn and our sunflowers have created a bit of a natural fence between our property and our closest neighbor and they help add a level of comfort to our already cozy lawn.
We also chose this particular breed because they produce delicious seed for consumption and are heirloom so as long as everything goes well we should end up with more seed than we know what to do with. Some of my gardening friends may be getting seeds in their stockings for Christmas this year.
As for harvesting your sunflowers the trick is to harvest them when the back of their head has turned yellow. Once you cut the heads from the stalks you can then bring them inside and hang them to dry. The trick is to make sure there is some air movement in the room that you choose so that they do not rot. If you happen to be lucky enough to have a large porch you could always hang them outdoors until they are dry enough to fully harvest the seeds.
I think that you would be surprised to know how nutritious sunflower seeds are. If you are interested in that particular bit of info you can check out a blog we wrote last year on August 28th, 2009 at the following link, http://seedtoharvest.blogspot.com/2009/08/sunflowers.html
Tobias Whitaker blogs for Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine. Click on the Mother Earth News logo at the bottom of the page for all of his post. You can also find him on Facebook at Seed To Harvest: Bossy Hen Homestead https://www.facebook.com/seedtoharvestbossyhenhomestead/ which is a central location for his homesteading blogs and his homeschooling blog, A Mile In Her Shoes: Tales Of A Stay-At Home Dad found here https://amileinhershoestalesofastayathomedad.wordpress.com/