Sunflower Harvest

We planted sunflower seeds in our raised bed garden this spring and had an absolutely amazing crop. We planted them in mid-June and the seeds germinated after six measly little days. This photo was taken on July 15th.

Young green sunflower plants approximately two feet tall

A short while later, the green buds started to tease us with hints of yellow. This photo was taken July 30th.

A yellow sunflower about to burst into bloom. The head is about three inches in diameter.

August 1st – Blooms! The goofball Hubby smiles at the sun with the flowers.

The Hubby celebrates the bloomed sunflowers. There are open flowers on the majority of the stalks, although the heads are still "small" at approximately four inches in diameter.

And the sunflowers attracted more than human admiration. We had visitors of many buzzing stripes. August 7th I found this giant cicada enjoying a nap or lunch:

This is a close-up of a fully grown sunflower, approximately six inches in diameter. A 1.5 to 2 inch dark black cicada is resting or feeding on the big brown seeds portion of the flower.

But it ended so quickly! We had about a week of watching the sunflowers follow the sun every day, but after about a week, the stalks had stiffened and the flowers stayed facing east. And then they dropped seemingly overnight. This photo is from August 12th.

Mature sunflower heads bow over towards the ground, their weight curving the tops of the stalks over.

We let them sit for another two weeks. I looked up how to harvest sunflower seeds and last night we went out and chopped off their pretty little heads, shoved them into brown paper bags and hung them from a clothesline to dry for a bit.

The Hubby hangs a bagged sunflower heads from the clothesline, which is full of bags that have been hung already.

And soon all of our sunflower heads will start to look like the patch of black in this photo:

Close-up of a harvested sunflower head. Dry, wilted yellow leaves frame a circle of pale yellow and brown seeds. At the bottom of the circle, a patch of black, hard seeds have been revealed. These are the eating seeds!

I’ll let you know how they turn out!

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Sunflower Harvest
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5 thoughts on “Sunflower Harvest

  1. C G
    3

    My kids’ school grows the Mammoth Grey Stripe ones every year, and then uses the heads as a fine motor skills work for the littlest kids. Pulling seeds out with tweezers is really satisfying! We didn’t manage to grow any at our house this year, but hopefully next summer.

    Yours are gorgeous. What variety?

    1. 3.1

      I’m not sure – we used all of the seeds and threw out the package. It was a conventional seed (i.e. not organic) and we specifically chose it for it’s monochromatic yellow petals and expected height of 4-6′.

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