We recommend Sunseed specifically for its delicious sunflower seeds. It produces an abundance of large kernels that are great for snacking, and can be used for making sunflower oil, too. If you don't quite get around to harvesting the seed, the birds will thank you. The earliest maturing variety in its class, Sunseed makes 10-14 inch heads on 4-5 foot tall plants. Germination code: (4)
Cutting and Crafting
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|Soil Temp for Germ.||Days to Emergence||Seed Depth||Seed Spacing||Row Spacing||Thin Plants To|
Given at the end of each description to give you specific information.
(1) Germination occurs between 70-85°F and within 6-15 days. Sow indoors and cover lightly.
(2) Needs a period of pre-chilling. Mix seeds with moistened peat moss and place in plastic bag. Seal and place bag in an area where the temperature is around 60°F for 2-3 days. Then place in the refrigerator for 30-90 days. After pre-chilling, place seed on sterile seedling mix and cover lightly. Germination may take up to 30 days.
(3) Needs darkness to germinate. Remove cover as soon as germination occurs.
(4) Direct sow in the garden as soon as the soil warms to at least 55°F.
(5) Germination may be slow and erratic. A fluctuating temperature of 75°F during the day and 50°F at night may help.
(6) Needs at least 12 hours of light per day to germinate. Press into the medium but do not cover. Keep moist.
Note: For those varieties that indicate a (1) or (6), a very light covering of vermiculite will allow adequate light to the seed and keep it uniformly moist.
• To promote deep roots and strong stems, water deeply but infrequently
• One to two cups of TSC's Complete fertilizer per 10 row feet in the spring is adequate for the year
• Germination code: (4)
Insects & Diseases
• Common insects: Cutworms and weevils
• Insect control: AzaMax or Pyrethrin
• Common pests: Birds
• Pest control: BirdBlock Netting or flash tape
• Note: Avoid wetting foliage to prevent rust
Harvest & Storage
• Cut flowers in the morning just after they open
• Use a clean knife, a clean vase, and a few drops of chlorine bleach in the water
• Cutting the mature central flower head will promote side-shoot flower production
• Harvest the heads when the bracts begin to shrivel, and hang the flowers upside down in a barn or shed
• For seed-eating gardeners, gray and white striped sunflower seeds are the best choice
• Salting: When dry, rub the seeds off the heads and soak overnight in 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of salt added, drain, and dry in a 250°F oven for 4-5 hours and store in an airtight container