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Storing Seeds Over Winter

i just harvested some sunflower seeds, i am planning on roasting some (any tips?....hehe) and i want to keep some to plant next year,

what is the best way to store them over the winter?

i guess what im wondering is, should they be left exposed to the air or not?....as in, left in a bowl or jar with no top on it?....or should they be sealed air tight in a zip lock bag or jam jar??

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  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,945

    Did you leave them on the plant until they were complete dried out, no good if they were too ripe, then once dried completely in kitchen paper, put in a paper envelope and keep somewhere cool.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Lyn says:

    Did you leave them on the plant until they were complete dried out, no good if they were too ripe, then once dried completely in kitchen paper, put in a paper envelope and keep somewhere cool.

    See original post

     

    hi, i tried to do it that way but the seeds seemed to be turning soft so i removed them from the head, and im letting them dry out now,

    i am reading so much conflicting information, some say remove seeds right away after cutting the head off, others say let the head dry out, too late to do that now i guess,

    i have another thread here explaining my issues "Sunflower Harvest"

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 19,945

    Let the heads dry out first, then finish off on absorbant paper is best. 

    You'll know next year if you’ve done right because they will either germinate or they wont.

    I think that’s the best way to find out about gardening, as you say, every site/person will tell you different. You only have to look on this site alone, one question, twenty different answers. 

    Trial and error is the best way. Make a note of what you do, when you sow, when you plant out, when you harvest,  then see how well it’s all done or not, and alter your book accordingly. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Lyn says:

    Let the heads dry out first, then finish off on absorbant paper is best. 

    You'll know next year if you’ve done right because they will either germinate or they wont.

    I think that’s the best way to find out about gardening, as you say, every site/person will tell you different. You only have to look on this site alone, one question, twenty different answers. 

    Trial and error is the best way. Make a note of what you do, when you sow, when you plant out, when you harvest,  then see how well it’s all done or not, and alter your book accordingly. 

    See original post

     

    thanks.....the last thing i want to happen is to plant my seeds next year and not have them grow, so maybe i will just roast all these for eating and buy new ones next season

  • Hi anyacolo

    I find that if the sunflower head is left too long on the stem it can sometimes get bugs and damp related spores on it. this is  because the head  has died off so the head has not the resilience to the weather that it had when growing.I wait a while untill the flowers in the head drop off then I cut the head off from the stem and leave it somewhere  to dry out then it is easy to remove the seeds about a week later. Store them in a envelope  or a air tight container until next year

    Happy Gardening

    Jolly G

  • Jolly Gary the Gardener says:

    Hi anyacolo

    I find that if the sunflower head is left too long on the stem it can sometimes get bugs and damp related spores on it. this is  because the head  has died off so the head has not the resilience to the weather that it had when growing.I wait a while untill the flowers in the head drop off then I cut the head off from the stem and leave it somewhere  to dry out then it is easy to remove the seeds about a week later. Store them in a envelope  or a air tight container until next year

    Happy Gardening

    Jolly G

    See original post

     

    thanks for the info,

    i left the head on the stem for at least 2-3 weeks after all the yellow pedals died and shriveled up, i was paranoid about cutting it off too soon, the back of the head still seemed green though, i thought it should turn brown before i cut it off, but i couldn't wait any longer, it was getting very cool here and thought it must be ready,

    i brought the heads inside and left them in my basement for a week, after a week i picked a few seeds off one of them and the shells seemed a bit soft instead of hard, so i decided to take all the seeds off the heads,

    right now ii have thousands of seeds in a cardboard box, i am going to let them dry for a week or two and see if they get hard, after that i might keep some for planting next season, and roast some for eating,

    maybe i am over thinking things and being paranoid,

    Last edited: 26 October 2017 14:10:12

  • philippa smith2 says:

    Basement and drying seeds doesn't really go together.  Leave the sunflower head as long as possible on the stem and then hang in a light and airy space.  Check regularly and remove any seeds which appear to be small or rotting.  Certainly don't pack in paper or WHY until you are sure that the seeds are fully dried.

    The weather this year hasn't been the best for drying seed heads and you may do better next year - fingers crossed.

    See original post

     

    thanks.....the seeds all look fine, none of them appear to be rotting, its just when i pick one up and try to crack it open, it is kind of soft and doesn't snap or crack open like normal....heres a pic of the seeds.....

    image

  • IamweedyIamweedy Cheshire East. Posts: 1,364

    Right now I am sitting next to a small pot of Monarda didyma seeds  and a large pot of Californian Poppy seeds . There are a few more  in my Wendy house waiting for me  to sort them out. I must do that this weekend. There are penstemmon as well.  I have just bought some small paper envelopes to put them in.




    'You must have some bread with it me duck!'

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,397

    2 or 3 weeks after the petals have gone will not have produced mature seeds. I think they're soft because they aren't ripe.

    Seeds need to mature on the plant all seeds not just sunflowers. Drying off is done when the seeds are mature. Maturity is when pods open or seeds come loose in the seed head. 

  • nutcutlet says:

    2 or 3 weeks after the petals have gone will not have produced mature seeds. I think they're soft because they aren't ripe.

    Seeds need to mature on the plant all seeds not just sunflowers. Drying off is done when the seeds are mature. Maturity is when pods open or seeds come loose in the seed head. 

    See original post

     

    thanks for the tips....i guess i will just roast all these for eating and buy new ones next year to plant....the weather here was getting very cool (about 5-10C) thats why i cut them off, i didnt think they would still be developing seeds at those cold temps, i thought they must be dead,

    my sunflowers seemed to start growing their "heads" very late this season, not sure why, i planted them in mid may, cut the heads off in mid october

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