How to Harvest Sunflower Seeds

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I love the look of those huge yellow flowers growing in my garden and I also love the tasty seeds, but I have a hard time getting any seeds away from the birds! In order to harvest your sunflower seeds you may need to take some extra steps. Here are some tips:

  1. Wrap the Flowers – When the sunflowers are fully grown and start to go to seed you may need to wrap the head to keep the birds and other predators out. This also helps to keep the seeds from falling out onto the ground. You can wrap the head in a brown paper bag or in cheese cloth. As long as it lets the seeds dry without moisture you should be able to harvest the full head of seeds.
  2. Cut and Dry – If letting the seeds ripen on the flower is not in your books then you can cut off the head and let the seeds dry indoors. Cut off the flower about a foot before the head. Then wrap the head in a paper bag or cloth and hang it upside down in a dry, warm area like a garage or shed. Keep it dry and the seeds should just fall off when they are ready.
  3. Shake It – Speaking of falling off, you should have no trouble removing the seeds from the flower when they are ready. Just shake the bag with the flower head in it and the seeds should drop off easily. If you have to work at it then they are not ready yet.

As you can see, harvesting sunflower seeds is not hard. All it takes is some patience and a little dry air to get you a harvest of tasty and nutritious sunflower seeds.

Author Bio

Nancy Parker is a regular contributor to www.enannysource.com and she loves to write about wide range of subjects like health, Parenting, Child Care, Babysitting, nanny background check tips etc. You can reach her @ nancy.parker015 @ gmail.com.

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Permaculture Playing Cards

49fd741321e88300e6398ede62e8cd04_largePermaculture is a branch of ecological design, ecological engineering, and environmental design that develops sustainable and self-maintained systems modeled from natural ecosystems, working with nature.

Paul Wheaton is one of the most permaculture-promoting guys out there, and for good reasons. He thinks (as many others do) that permaculture holds answers and solutions that will save the world, literally.  He is thinking of new ways to spread the word and information of these concepts.  To that point, check out the kickstarter project for permaculture playing cards.  Besides being cool, these cards have little bite-sized tidbits of knowledge on each card.  They are great for gifts or sneakily introducing others to sustainable ideals while playing cards and having fun.  I have some on order, and notice there are only a few days left to get in on the opportunity to have some, so don’t wait too long if you want these unique cards.

If the term permaculture is a new term, the most popular book to serve as an introduction to these concepts is Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition.  Also, there is a friendly online community set up at permies.com with loads of great content.

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More than just veggies: Flowers and decorative plants you can eat

When it comes to your garden you want it to both be beautiful and practical. While veggies are very practical sometimes they are lacking in the beauty department. However you can use even areas exposed to the neighborhood, like front yards, to add plants to your landscaping that look great and are useful at the same time. Here are some of the cool plants you can grow and eat with no one the wiser:

cannalily

Canna Lilies – The first one on our list is very common to Southern climates. Able to grow in various types of soil from dry and rocky to underwater, this hardy flowering plant is beautiful as well as prolific. This plant propagates by sending out shoots so your best bet is to keep it in a container or raised garden bed. It can take over your entire garden if you let it. However those new shoots have another purpose. They can be eaten! The young shoots can be cooked and eaten like bamboo shoots and are great sliced up in stir-fries. The tuber-like growths that form in the root system Continue reading

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Citizen Gardener Celebratory Potluck Brunch

celebrateAll past students, teachers, assistants, and hosts of the Citizen Gardener program are invited to to come help celebrate and reconnect at our 1st annual Potluck Brunch and graduation ceremony.

SAVE THE DATE:  Saturday June 29, 2013 – 10:30am to 12:30pm.

Hopefully you remember for class that one of the goals of the Citizen Gardener program is to promote building community!  At this brunch we will share good food, get back in touch with your class-mates, meet new people who share your passion for growing fresh, healthy food in their backyard, and congratulate those who have completed the requirements and have become certified Citizen Gardeners!  We have more details to share, so please RSVP if you are a past student and would like to come.  Send an email to citizen citizengardener@northtexasvegetablegardeners.com to let us know you want to be a part and we will let you know more about it.

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What to Plant and When in North Texas

The Texas seasons are great, but it can cause gardening to get overwhelming trying to keep straight what can be planted and when. The unique seasons cause the time for gardening to differ from that of other areas. Keeping track gets even more complicated, due to the fact that many plants will have two growing seasons. Use this seasonal guide to follow what to plant and when in the Texas seasons.

Fall:

This shorter season has optimal temperatures for producing results in the garden. The fall season brings slightly cooler weather but still enough warmth for growing plants and vegetables. The key to successful growth in the fall season is time. It can take longer for crops to grow in this season, and it is best to get them planted in July/August meaning you have to get the crops to overcome the heat to enjoy them in fall. Until seedlings are established, lots of water is crucial to crop survival. Broccoli and cabbage are two of the most successful fall crops. Green beans, carrots, and squash are also ideal for Texas fall. This will be the second growing season for cucumbers, beans, peas and corn.

Winter:

Continue reading

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