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Posts Tagged ‘growing sunflower seeds for the birds’

Hopefully by now, if the weather has been kind where you live, your Sunflowers will have flowered and developed into rings of nice fat seeds.

As you can see mine have grown well but some of them are yet to flower, I hope that this spell of sunny weather will encourage them to flower and set their seeds.

The varieties I have grown this year are Titan and Russian Giant as they have large heads and hopefully plenty of seeds for the birds.

I love Sunflowers, I grow them for their stunning flowers, which benefit the bees and insects, and their seeds, which I save for the birds, if you want to save some of your seeds for the birds or to grow next year here’s what you need to do.

  1. When the backs of the Sunflower heads turn yellow cut them off leaving about 30cm of stem attached and hang them upside down somewhere warm, dry and well ventilated (to prevent them going mouldy).
  2. Tie a brown paper bag around the Sunflower heads to catch any seeds that drop out.
  3. Once the backs of the Sunflower heads have turned brown and dry your Sunflower seeds are ready to harvest, they should pop out when you run your hands over the heads.
  4. Lay the seeds out on newspaper to completely dry out and to remove any flower heads/leaves then store the seeds in a cool dry place in an airtight container.

A Sunflower head that has finished flowering

Make a Bug House with your Sunflower stems

After you have cut the heads off the plants, the remaining stems can go into the Compost Bin or instead if they are hollow why not use them to make an Bug House. Cut the stems into 10 – 15cm lengths and squeeze them into a washed large pop bottle which has had the top cut off (ask an adult to do this), apply tape around the rough cut edge for safety, place at an angle with the open end slightly pointing downwards in a sheltered, dry and shady spot in your garden, this will make an great Bug House for over wintering insects.

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