Look at the size of that sucker!
My backyard just isn’t complete without sunflowers. They cheer up any space they inhabit! If you’re feeling generous (or just lazy), you can leave your sunflowers alone and they’ll act as natural built-in bird feeders for your garden.
But if you’re inclined to save your seeds, either for next years planting or as the delicious edibles that they are, here’s the ins and outs of the task.
Cut the head when it begins to die back. It’s ready when the backside has gone from green to yellow (below).
At first the head will be covered with small yellow buds. Leave it alone it in a dry airy place for a few weeks. When it’s all dried out, you’ll be able to easily brush off the browned buds to reveal the seeds (below).
Pry out the seeds! There’s a ton, so this may take a while . . .
From here you can either store the seeds in a cool dry place to plant next spring, or you can eat them. NOM. You can shed the husks and use the insides in raw form. Or you can toast them, by soaking the seeds (husk and all) overnight in a 1:4 salt water solution, and then oven roasting them at 200º for 3-4 hours.
I love my sunflowers! This year was my biggest yield yet, and I’ll definitely save a few seeds to plant again next season. But most of them are for eatin’. They’re just too wonderful (and nutrient-packed) not to !