Sunflower, “Mammoth Grey Stripe” Seeds
This giant among sunflowers is a fast grower whose single stalk can reach 12′ tall and produces one 10″-12″ flower! Not fussy about soil, it’s very easy to grow and drought tolerant. Yellow petals and a brown center. Grow in a tight row to make an attractive screen. Sow monthly for continual bloom into fall. Edible, gray-striped seeds invite birds in the fall (if you don’t eat the seeds first!). Sunflower petals are edible, with a bittersweet flavor. The petals add a pretty pop of color on salads and desserts. The young, sunflower buds are edible, with a flavor similar to artichoke hearts. They can be grilled, marinated, or sauteed for an unusual appetizer or side dish.
When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 1 to 2 weeks after your average last frost date.
When to Start Inside: 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date. Sunflowers are sensitive to root disturbance; sow in biodegradable pots that can be planted directly in the ground.
Days to Emerge: 10–15 days
Seed Depth: ¼"–½"
Seed Spacing: A group of 3 seeds every 24"
Thinning: When 3" tall, thin to 1 every 24"
Harvesting: Seeds are ready to harvest when the back of the head has dried and turned brown, about 4 weeks after the flowers have been pollinated. Petals will have wilted and fallen off, and the seeds will be plump, and colored white with gray/black stripes. Seeds ripen around the outside of the flower first; the ones in the center will ripen last. Average yield is approximately 1 pound per head.