My husband eats a lot of sunflower seeds, so this year I tried growing Sunseed sunflowers from seed. I liked the description of 4-5 foot plants and tasty seed. I grew Mammoth Gray Stripe last year and thought maybe I was ready for something shorter that might be easier to manage in a more typical raised bed.
True to it’s package info, the plants were not quite my height. This didn’t keep most of them from leaning across the garden walkway when the flower head was heavy with seed. That made the path basically unusable for 3 months. But, only a couple of them went as far as going face down in the dirt. With the Mammoth Gray, I had had several plants laying horizontal. Obviously, for either variety, I need to problem solve some support.
The real test came when I asked my husband to give me a taste test report. He says the seed tastes good, but it is too small to be cracking with the fingers before putting in the mouth. I guess he alternates methods of eating, and is fine with just cracking them in his mouth, so the seed will be used.
The hardest part, for me, is getting the seed out of the flower head. I read somewhere that it might just fall out. I waited. That only happened to the seeds that ended up left in the garden. …or if the birds help…. The flower head makes the perfect platform for the birds to sit on while they reach down and under to get their lunch. Fortunately, my husband has no objection to adding loosening-sunflower-seeds-from-the-flower to things that are done while sitting on the couch watching TV.
If I want to have some of either kind of seed for my salads or bread making, I’ll have to come up with a way to get those shells off. It sounds like a rolling pin might be something to try. Whichever variety I decide to plant next year, I think I will tie them up to the outside of my wooden trellis:
It will be interesting to see how that affects them turning their heads toward the sun!