NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Sunflowers for seeds?  (Read 7716 times)

Sonia in Cornwall

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Helston, Cornwall
  • Meet Blue - our little bundle of chaos
    • Going Stress Free - our personal mission
Sunflowers for seeds?
« on: November 01, 2010, 09:19:34 am »
Hi

I'm just looking at picking seeds for next year's growing, and we want to grow sunflowers.  LOTS of sunflowers!  Basically we want them for the seeds.  Can anyone recommend any particular variety that's good for seed production?  (They're not something I've ever grown before so I'm afraid I know nothing about them except they get tall!) 

Thank you!

"Often people attempt to live life backwards - they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, to be happier.  The way it really works is in reverse.  First be who you really are, then do what you need, in order to have what you want."  Margaret Young
Voss Electric Fence

Frieslandfilly

  • Joined Apr 2009
Re: Sunflowers for seeds?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2010, 12:10:58 pm »
I had an excellent crop of sunflowers this year, I grew 'Giant single' as you can tell they were giant with single heads, they were massive!! and had a good head of seeds which we used for the chickens. We grew them in heavily manured soil.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
    • Facebook
Re: Sunflowers for seeds?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2010, 12:19:47 pm »
And they self seed  ::)  I didn't plant any this year and have a few dotted around the garden from that. ;D
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Sonia in Cornwall

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Helston, Cornwall
  • Meet Blue - our little bundle of chaos
    • Going Stress Free - our personal mission
Re: Sunflowers for seeds?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2010, 12:39:06 pm »
Brilliant.  Thank you! 
"Often people attempt to live life backwards - they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, to be happier.  The way it really works is in reverse.  First be who you really are, then do what you need, in order to have what you want."  Margaret Young

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Sunflowers for seeds?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2010, 04:46:32 pm »
When you see whole fields of sunflowers, they are usually not a very tall variety, presumably because they blow over in a gale.  There seem to be two types - those with single heads and those with a branching habit and lots of small heads - singles would be likely to produce more seeds I would think, but extra height would be at the expense of seed numbers.  In addition, some are advertised as 'pollen free' - not destined to produce many seeds then? I'm not sure quite sure how they would work.
Many years ago when we had allotments before the smallholding, I grew lots and lots of sunflowers one year and just as they were coming out some b*****d came along and decapitated them ALL  >:(  I'm still annoyed  :D
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Frieslandfilly

  • Joined Apr 2009
Re: Sunflowers for seeds?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2010, 11:15:07 am »
 :( There are some mindless idiots about!!

pikilily

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Do what you enjoy; And enjoy what you do!!
Re: Sunflowers for seeds?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2010, 01:43:47 pm »
Slightly off topic - but hey ho!!

Earlier this summer I thought that someone was playing tricks on me...all around my riding arena... carefully measured out at 8 ft spacing were the most magnificent sunflowers. Quized the OH who denied any trickery...and the neighbours..... then worked out that each palnt was stationed at a fencepost......the birds had taken seeds from last years plants and dropped some as they were eating.

Made a very pretty display!!
Emma T :love:
If you don't have a dream; how you gonna have a dream come true?

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Sunflowers for seeds?
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2010, 03:52:39 pm »
How lovely, Emma  :)  We get strange plants from bird seed - the worst was a Thorn Apple (bruckmansia) - toxic and stinky - which appeared one year in our polytunnel.  Can't think how else it got there.

Following on from that, Sonia, if you want to grow lots and lots of sunflowers, you could just buy a lb of sunflower seeds meant for the birds and sow those (obviously with their hulls still on).  I thought of that after I had been looking in my seed catalogues and saw the price of sunflower seeds and just how many seeds you don't get per packet.  :o
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

CameronS

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • North East Fife
Re: Sunflowers for seeds?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2010, 09:46:05 pm »
This year we grew Giant sunflowers, and we have collected the seeds and have a huge box for of them. the plants they came from reached heights of 10feet high.

I can easily you some seeds if you want (and anyone else for that matter)
 
cameron

ellied

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • Fife
    • Facebook
Re: Sunflowers for seeds?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2010, 11:09:33 am »
There seem to be a few field margins in my area that have sunflowers this year - not sure if it's a new trend for feeding wildlife or some grant aided margin mix but it surprised me as I'd never seen it before and then found them in a few different areas!

I'd love to grow a few for seed if they're edible for humans and not just birds at the end of it?

Single heads but not too tall then is that the advice?
Barleyfields Smallholding & Kirkcarrion Highland Ponies
https://www.facebook.com/kirkcarrionhighlands/
Ellie Douglas Therapist
https://www.facebook.com/Ellie-Douglas-Therapist-124792904635278/

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Sunflowers for seeds?
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2010, 04:17:21 pm »
Fleecewife, you are right, I sowed sunflower seeds from the pet shop for my chickens and had a bumper crop.

RUSTYME

  • Joined Oct 2009
Re: Sunflowers for seeds?
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2010, 07:27:43 pm »
you can buy named varieties, but if you just want seeds then get them from the pet shop , not sure what the GM situation is with sunflower seed though ?
The striped ones are best for eating , and the black ones are best for oil . You will get oil from a striped one and you can eat the black ones , but you will get more oil from the black .
 So, with only a few square yards of sunflowers you can get all your own cooking oil , all your own seed for eating and cooking , some for the birds and some for the chickens . If you do press them for oil , the waste can be fed to any of your animal stock .
 You get appx 1/3 , by weight , of oil from  good sunflower seeds , so if you pressed about 25lbs of seed you would get appx 8lbs of oil,  about a gallon , the other 17lbs would be the waste or cake for animal feed. 

cheers

Russ

Bright Raven

  • Joined May 2010
  • North Shropshire
Re: Sunflowers for seeds?
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2011, 11:17:51 pm »
What tools are needed to extract the oil? Would I need to clarify or clean the oil afterward?
Julia xxx 3 acres and a day job!!!! Chickens, Turkeys, Sheep, Pigs, Veggies and Homebrew. Husband, son, pets, chutney and music.
If I am here it's because I am putting my feet up!

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Sunflowers for seeds?
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2011, 11:47:18 am »
I've bought sunflower seeds this year for sowing. We were either going to sell bunches of flowers at the road end or use the seeds to birds / chickens. We're doing half of a 18m x 1.2m bed. I love them. I hadn't thought about extracting oil - thought it woudl be too difficult.

RUSTYME

  • Joined Oct 2009
Re: Sunflowers for seeds?
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2011, 01:25:49 pm »
http://www.rajkumarexpeller.com/index.asp

Rajkumar Hand Operated sunflower oil Expeller


http://www.piteba.com/eng/index_eng.htm

Piteba linseed flaxseed cold pressed oil expeller press

I can't vouch for either of the hand tools above , but they seem to do the job ok.
 No need to clarify the oil  , you may want to strain it though if you wanted perfectly clear oil , a coffee filter would do the job , but so would a piece of muslin etc . However , you could use it as is for cooking etc, but for use as fuel , as diesel replacement , then you would need to filter it down to about 5 microns , which I think coffee filters do  .

cheers

Russ

 

Sunflowers

Started by sellickbhoy

Replies: 6
Views: 2794
Last post June 25, 2009, 09:27:58 am
by MrRee
Sunflowers

Started by egbert

Replies: 3
Views: 1293
Last post June 24, 2010, 07:14:29 pm
by Susie
crazy sunflowers

Started by cameldairy

Replies: 2
Views: 1661
Last post June 01, 2011, 06:05:37 pm
by Sandy
sunflowers question

Started by northfifeduckling

Replies: 11
Views: 3013
Last post October 09, 2011, 08:50:23 pm
by northfifeduckling
Where to buy seeds from

Started by Kitchen Cottage

Replies: 14
Views: 5589
Last post February 02, 2014, 12:53:48 pm
by Fleecewife

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS