Growing Sunflowers in the Home Garden
|Sunflower in my garden today.|
Drying Sunflower Seeds
When the entire flower is dry, use your fingers to break apart the dried sunflower head. Most seeds will fall out on their own, but you may need to pick some out. You can shell them and eat the kernels, or place the new seeds in jars to plant next year. You can also pour them into your bird feeder for a treat for your feathered friends. But don't put them on the ground. Not unless you want a big, fat chipmunk in the yard....
Interesting Facts About Sunflowers
- Did you know that each seed, each dot on the big old seed head of a sunflower is actually a flower in and of itself? What we call the "flower" on a sunflower is actually a huge cluster of tiny flowers. The group is called an inflorescence.
- Sunflower inflorescence is arranged with natural, mathematical precision in a Fibbonachi sequence. (Lovers of The Big Bang Theory, ask Sheldon what that means).
- Scientists who make solar panels study sunflowers to learn the most efficient method of arranging panels to capture the sun. They've found that by far the most efficient method of panel arrangement is how nature made the sunflower.
- Sunflowers do follow the sun through a process called heliotropism. The stems, leaves and flower turn slowly to follow the sun throughout the growing period to maximize photosynthesis. Because of heliotropism, they actually achieve 10-15% more photosynthesis than if they sat still. Once the seeds mature, the plant halts in place in the best location to sunbathe.
- Sunflower plants can actually clean pollutants from soil and water. Tests have shown they can clean lead, radioactive materials and possibly other pollutants from the ground.