GROWING & HARVEST
Cover seeds at planting time with netting or green plastic berry baskets to keep birds from plucking seeds and seedlings from the ground (remove before plants get crowded). Towards midsummer, after sunflowers grow tall and bloom, the flower heads’ outer petals will shrivel and seeds begin to form. Wait until center florets have dried up, indicating pollination is complete, before covering the ripening heads with paper grocery bags to keep birds from picking out the immature seeds. When seeds are dry, plump and fully formed, harvest heads and rub seeds out with thumbs. Store in a cool, dry place in a sealed container to keep out insects.