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Sunflower, Mammoth Organic
Enormous organic sunflower.
An amazing giant heirloom sunflower with enormous blooms, up to 1 ft. across. The large yellow flowers with brown centers top plants 9-12 ft. tall and yield heavy loads of seeds. Fast and easy to grow, Mammoth sunflowers are great for creating a sunforest for kids, a tall annual hedge or screen. Sow in the spring after the last average frost date. When around 3" tall, seedlings should be thinned to 2 ft. apart. Edible seeds attract birds and make great snacks. To save seeds, cut the stem beneath flower heads when the backs of the flower heads turn yellow. Hang upside down and let dry in a cool, dry place for about a month. Cover with netting or a paper sack with holes to keep seeds from falling. But watch out for squirrels! Certified Organic Seed.
Sow outdoors after danger of frost. Sunflowers produce
rather large seedlings and prefer to grow where Sown. To insure good germination, Sow seeds
1/2" deep in groups of 2 or 3 seeds. Space these groups 2 to 4" apart.
How to Grow Sunflowers
Sunflowers face the sun, so it's very important that your
planting be made in an open, bright spot in your garden. The tall varieties will cast a shadow
on other plants, so make sure all tall varieties are planted on the north end of your garden. A
light, dry, well-drained soil is preferred. Under normal conditions, no fertilizer is needed
unless the soil is poor. If this is the case, the use of 5 pounds of 5-10-5 complete fertilizer
per 100 sq. ft. should be sufficient.
Harvesting Sunflower Seeds
Edible kinds will mature in about 3 months or more after
Sowing. Heads are cut off after the stalks are quite dry but before fall or winter rains come.
Check the flower heads for maturity to see if the florets in the center of the flower disk have
shriveled and the back of the flower head is turning yellow, or the head is Starting to droop.
Cut flower-heads with a foot of the stalk attached. Hang heads in a warm, dry, well-ventilated
place so the seeds may fully ripen and dry. Cheesecloth, netting or a paper bag with holes
punched in for ventilation should be placed over the head to protect the seeds and to collect
those that may drop from drying.