This choice strain of traditional mammoth sunflower has been reselected and saved by generations of seed savers for handsome, strong plants that reach up 12 to 14 feet tall to follow the sun. Each stalk is topped with a beautiful golden flower face with a dark center disk. When petals drop and the seeds mature, harvest the heads of plump kernels for a bountiful crop of sunflower seeds for fiber-rich, tasty snacks or as a welcome feast for songbirds.
THIN OR TRANSPLANT
When seedlings are about 3 inches tall, be sure to space them 12 to18 inches apart with 3 feet between rows. This spacing allows plants room to grow, establish strong roots and sturdy stalks.
Keep soil moist and well weeded. Protect seedlings from birds at planting time with netting or plastic berry baskets, removing before plants get crowded. For large heads, space seedlings properly so plants will have room to grow to full size.
HARVEST AND USE
As petals drop, bees pollinate the florets in each head and seeds begin to mature. When center disk florets have dried up, cover the ripening seed heads loosely with paper bags to foil pilfering birds. When ripened kernels are plump and hard-shelled, cut entire heads, dry fully, then remove the seeds by hand, rubbing them out with your thumbs. Store in closed containers to eat for snacks or feed to the birds over the winter.