Sunflowers are not only a real eye-catcher, you can even snack on the seeds. The kernels are only really tasty when they are harvested at the right time.Harvesting sunflower seeds is a breeze When it comes to sunflower seeds, most people think of birdseed for winter feeding. They also taste excellent in a homemade granola, roasted in a crisp salad or simply as a snack in between. The use in the kitchen is quite diverse these days.
If you don't want to buy the sunflower seeds but want to get them from your own sunflowers, the question is of course how easy it is to harvest these seeds.
We'll tell you.
It depends on the right time
It is not difficult to harvest the seeds of a sunflower. It is only important that you wait until the flower has completely dried. When drying, you can separate the flower and store it in your home. Alternatively, the flower simply remains on the plant and dries there.
The harvest begins as soon as the flower heads change color.
To catch the right time, a look at the back of the flower is recommended. If the head slowly turns yellowish and later turns brownish, the preparation time begins.
Dry and harvest sunflowers on a stem
The sunflower seeds only detach from the flower when it is completely dry. As a rule, you can start harvesting almost five days after the first wilting. In order for the flower to dry well on the stem, the sunflower must be protected from the weather. Rain or moisture at night prolongs the drying phase. Check regularly whether the cores are already loosening.
To protect the ripe seeds from the weather or birds, you should put a paper bag or a burlap sack over the flower. Simply put the bag over the flower and tie it to the stem. If the bag gets wet in the rain, just replace it.
The advantage: With a paper bag over the flower you can make harvesting easier. If the sunflower seeds come loose, they now fall directly into the bag and are not lost.
Dry and harvest sunflowers indoors
If you want to cheat the weather and not want to do without your seeds, you can also cut the withered flowers from the plant and dry them inside. However, you should not separate the flower directly from the base, but leave about 30 centimeters of the stem. Put a paper bag over the flower and attach it to the stem. Now hang the flower upside down in a dry place and wait. The cores loosen as soon as the drying phase has ended and fall directly into the bag.
You can now easily remove seeds that are still in bloom by rubbing the flower with your flat hand.
Store the sunflower seeds properly
Until you have harvested the complete flower head, you should keep the fallen seeds in an airtight bowl.
" Tip: Briefly check whether the cores are damaged or not fully developed. You can easily dispose of such cores.
When the harvest is complete, you still have to clean the seeds:
1 Put the harvested kernels in a sieve and rinse them off with cold water. This removes dirt and dust.
2 Put the moist seeds on a towel and let them dry in warm air for several hours.
3 Remove foreign bodies, remaining dirt or flower components from the seeds
4 Once the kernels are completely dry, fill them in an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can freeze or roast the sunflower seeds.
The seeds usually stay in the refrigerator for several weeks to months.