Author Topic: Sunflowers for seeds  (Read 950 times)

AnnieD

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Sunflowers for seeds
« on: February 18, 2017, 11:58:24 »
Hi all, my first question!
I thought it would be good to grow some sunflowers, as they look cheerful, and then I could save the seeds for the birds (they cost me a fortune in winter!)
So which variety would people recommend for looking good, but also producing lots of seeds.
Thank you
Located in Royston, North Herts.

Flighty

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2017, 16:03:38 »
Try the multi-headed Autumn Beauty which grows to about 5 feet tall and has a range of flower colour combinations. It's listed in most seed suppliers catalogues. 
Another one is Musicbox which is a knee high variety with lots of flowers over a long period so plenty of seeds if you save them. I grew the latter last year and was well pleased with them.   


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ed dibbles

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2017, 16:14:04 »
Sow the ones in the bird food since they are grown especially for seed. I did this a few years back, collected seed and now plant them every year.

They grow into strong six foot plants with really thick bases. One enormous head is formed followed by a number of smaller ones. the big central head alone produces a huge number of seeds.

I plant them in amongst my squash plants because being tall neither plant interferes with the other and the sunflowers attract bees for the squash, and indeed the other way round. :happy7:

AnnieD

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2017, 15:52:28 »
Sow the ones in the bird food since they are grown especially for seed. I did this a few years back, collected seed and now plant them every year.

That's such a good idea, thanks  :icon_cheers:
Located in Royston, North Herts.

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2017, 19:28:47 »
Pet food suppliers for sunflowers every time!, sensible prices, you can often weigh out sufficient at about 2.50 per kilo (=50 grammes: 13pence!! ) and if sold "unpackaged", are vat -free (yippee!!)
If it helps, the striped ones generally grow 2metres tall and have a main bloom approx 350mm across, the little black ones tend to be 1.2 metres tall and akin to spray chrysanths. Worth a try in the South, while your in the shop, is niger seed (Guizotia abyssinica) which can produce a forest of vegetation to fill rough ground with a view to being harvested for the compost heap. It may flower, but is unlikely to set seed before our season is over, thereby not becoming "invasive". I would be interested to learn how far north it thrives. Price of seed about 3 per kilo, probably enough to broadcast over half an acre!!
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johhnyco15

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2017, 19:36:29 »
i save my own seed every year and buy a different variety each year to expand my range  i end up with around 5 kilo which the birds love i also leave around twenty heads on a fence which always attracts finches etc and i get to enjoy the blooms all in all a win win
johhnyc015  may the plot be with you

LottieLil

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2017, 20:11:17 »

Really silly question now, but do you have to shuck the sunflower seeds or plant them with their shell on?

Sounds daft, but I've never grown them, and thought it might be fun to do with the grandkids this week!

 :tongue3:
Has a 5 rod plot in Portsmouth.

johhnyco15

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2017, 20:26:03 »

Really silly question now, but do you have to shuck the sunflower seeds or plant them with their shell on?

Sounds daft, but I've never grown them, and thought it might be fun to do with the grandkids this week!

 :tongue3:
shell on once the flower head is dry rub your fingers over the center of the bloom and the seeds just pop off really easy keep them in a  marked paper envelope bingo ready for use next season 
johhnyc015  may the plot be with you

LottieLil

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2017, 20:46:27 »

Thank you!

Has a 5 rod plot in Portsmouth.

squeezyjohn

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2017, 20:58:18 »
Apparently the way to get shelled sunflower kernels for eating is to get them really dry, place in a strong plastic bag and roll them gently with a rolling pin, then you put the contents of the bag in to a bowl of water and supposedly the shells rise to the surface while the kernels sink to the bottom.  I've never tried it ... but getting the shells off was a barrier for me to try growing a crop for eating.  I might try it this year.

But to clarify ... you plant the seed with their shells ON.

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2017, 17:32:40 »
For the grand kids, let them sprout a few in a jar, with seeds against the glass, fill the middle with damp kitchen roll. All the action is then on view. Dependent of their ages,they could draw a picture each visit( or take a photo on their phone!!), and then "pot on " once developed into a seedling. Its the time to "take cuttings" for new PLOTTERS!!
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AnnieD

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2017, 15:30:51 »
Just wanted to show you my sunflowers, they are brilliant 

It took me 3 attampts.
First time, I planted them in pots inside. They went really leggy in one day and they all died.
Second attempt, I planted them outside in my mini greenhouse, and the seedlings all got eaten by snails.
Third attempt, I planted them straight in the ground and covered each seed with a cut off plastic bottle until the plant was big enough to survive . Look at them now!  :blob7:
Located in Royston, North Herts.

Digeroo

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2017, 16:45:03 »
Some sunflower varieties produce fatter more meaty seeds.  I believe that Mammoth Russian may be one of them.  I am not clear if this is the same as Russian Giant which T&M sell

galina

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2017, 17:45:15 »

They grow into strong six foot plants with really thick bases. One enormous head is formed followed by a number of smaller ones. the big central head alone produces a huge number of seeds.


If you cut the seed heads off and leave the 6ft thick stems in the ground, would they make useful bean sticks for the following year? 

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2017, 14:18:59 »
Tubular, with pithy inner, will fill with rain and rot ,I think. Better to spend January harvesting some hazels, pea sticks free with each!!
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sunloving

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2017, 07:06:26 »
Annie, those look great! I was the same, last year I couldn't get any to survive mainly because of the snails but this year they are 10 ft and gorgeous, such a happy flower so worth the space and effort.   
Just wanted to show you my sunflowers, they are brilliant 

It took me 3 attampts.
First time, I planted them in pots inside. They went really leggy in one day and they all died.
Second attempt, I planted them outside in my mini greenhouse, and the seedlings all got eaten by snails.
Third attempt, I planted them straight in the ground and covered each seed with a cut off plastic bottle until the plant was big enough to survive . Look at them now!  :blob7:

AnnieD

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Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2017, 19:11:18 »
Annie, those look great! I was the same, last year I couldn't get any to survive mainly because of the snails but this year they are 10 ft and gorgeous, such a happy flower so worth the space and effort.   
Just wanted to show you my sunflowers, they are brilliant 

It took me 3 attampts.
First time, I planted them in pots inside. They went really leggy in one day and they all died.
Second attempt, I planted them outside in my mini greenhouse, and the seedlings all got eaten by snails.
Third attempt, I planted them straight in the ground and covered each seed with a cut off plastic bottle until the plant was big enough to survive . Look at them now!  :blob7:

There are loads around our site, they look lovely. Mine have started forming seeds now - and the heads are getting really heavy.
Located in Royston, North Herts.

Allotments 4 All

Re: Sunflowers for seeds
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2017, 19:11:18 »