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Grow Your Own Sunflower Seeds

Sunflowers grow at different times of the year in different parts of the country. In many areas, your sunflowers should be in the ground or growing now. This is a great gardening activity for kids with a pay-off for the hard work!

Follow the directions on the package of seeds. Note when the seed(s) should be planted and how deep. Also note whether these seeds are for the blooming sunflowers or for the ones that produce edible seeds.

Once your sunflower has grown and bloomed, you'll want to protect the bloom until it dries. If you don't, you'll more than likely lose all your seeds to the local wildlife!

One method of protecting your bloom is, after it have fully open and been open for a day or two ... or as many days as it takes for the bloom to mature and the center to fill out ... cover the bloom with a light weight paper bag that has had several holes punched in it. Try not and damage the stalk, but tie the bag around the bloom so that animals can't get to it. The holes in the bag will allow air to circulate so that the bloom, and its seeds, to dry.

Curing Sunflower Seeds

The back of a thoroughly ripe sunflower head is brown and dry, with no trace of green left in it. Cut the heads with a foot or two of stem attached, and then hang in a dry, well-ventilated place to finish drying. Heads should not be piled on top of each other, as seeds may rot and become moldy.

You can brush the seeds out with a stiff brush. If some seeds are still moist, them may be spread out to complete drying after being removed from the head.

Remember, these seeds are both unsalted and unroasted, so they won't taste like store bought seeds.

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