Xboomgarden.com. Do you ever wonder what to do with sunflower heads that you got from the market? I can understand that you have a lot of question in your mind because you have no experience at all in growing a sunflower. It is not surprising that at the blink of an eye, there are many questions popping in your mind, such as ‘what should I do?’ or ‘how to start planting sunflower?’ or even a more expert-y question such as ‘when to harvest sunflower seeds after your first attempt succeed in growing this plant?’. Well, at least right now you are on the right place because we are about to unveil everything you need to know about sunflower before growing it in your garden.
When to Harvest Sunflower Seeds?
Either for planting or roasting, there are some big mistakes when it comes about harvesting sunflower seeds. The common mistake is cut the flower head too early than it supposed to be. DO NOT cut the petals when they are still waving like corona around the flower. You need to wait until the petals off. Also, we need to wait until the Calyx turn into yellowish brown or drying out which indicates that the flowers seed are mature.
Grow a Sunflower Step by Step
You reap what you sow, yes it is. Back in the garden, we have to sow first before we reap it. So, before we harvest the sunflower seeds we need to know how to grow it. This is the step by step of growing sunflower that will help you to understand the cycle from the planting to harvesting.
- Planting the Seed
The first step you need to do is planting the seed. You can buy it from the nearest store and once you succeed harvest sunflowers seed for planting, you can use that seed as the new sources. But, how do you save sunflower seeds for next year? I know that it is too early to talk about this, but I will tell you the trick. You can keep the sunflower seeds for the next year by putting them in a paper envelope. Don’t forget to label the date and variety then store it in a cool dry spot until you are ready to plant them.
Once the planting is done, the germination takes 2 to 10 days. Under the soil, the seeds begin to life as wispy roots that will reach out the ground searching for the sunlight.
- Development Process
As the new sunflower plant appears with at least 2 small leaves, you can transfer it from the indoors to outdoors. Make sure you put it on the right site where there are sun exposure in order to make the stem taller. The plants will start to develop and grow taller every day, which usually happens for the first month since the germination process.
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How much does a sunflower grow in a week? That is the example of the frequently asked question by the new gardener that tries to grow this plant. Well, the development of sunflower depends on the condition you grow them in and the treatment you gave. Usually, it grows 20-25 cm per month, which means about 4 to 5 cm per week.
- Growing a Bud and Flowering
Once you see a bud appears, it means that the plant has grown healthy. But it is not over yet, they need more sunlight so the bud will develop into a beautiful flower. Make sure you keep watering them every day to keep hydrated. At the second month from the plantation, you will reap what you sow; the sunflower is blooming. This is also where the pollination process begins.
This is the only step that you can’t involve directly because the bugs will take care of it. It is a symbiosis of mutualism that will give advantages for both, the pollinators and the sunflowers.
- Seed Development and Harvesting
When the seed start to develop and ripen, and that’s when to harvest sunflower seeds for planting before the birds and the bugs feast on it. The head will turn into dark brown and if you decide to harvest it, then you can cut the stem right below the sunflower head. Also, you might be wondering why are my sunflower seeds white? Don’t worry, it means that the seeds are mature. Always choose white seeds than black stripe on white, which means that the seeds are not mature enough.
There are also related question, such as ‘how to harvest sunflower seeds commercially?’ or ‘what time of year do sunflowers bloom?’, but in order to answer those questions, you need to take every process of Growing Sunflower 101. It would be better if you try to plant sunflower based on our guidance and then you will understand the right answer of those questions.
The most important thing is that you know when to harvest sunflower seeds, either it is for planting or using them to feed the wildlife during the winter.