Grab your seed packets and follow me–the sunflowers are ready for harvest!

“They are? But how do you know? They look like they’re wilting.”

“Yes—they’re wilting because they’re ready for harvest! Kinda like potato plants. When the tops die back, it’s time to ‘swim’ for potatoes!”

At first the florets were beautiful and bright yellow.

bright yellow sunflower florets

Then they began to dry up and turn brown–an initial cause for alarm until…

sunflower florets beginning to dry

They shriveled back to reveal a hard-bodied flower head.

florets shriveling back to reveal sunflower seeds

And now we can pick them!

picking out a sunflower seed

We could let them dry on the flower head, but then we risk the critters getting to them first and run off with our fabulous bounty! If we’re smart, we’ll take it upon ourselves and cut the large flower head off, place it in a safe and well-ventilated area indoors and allow it to dry.

sunflower hung to dry

According to SunflowerGuide.com, where you can learn all you ever wanted to know about sunflowers, you can also wrap a brown paper bag around the flower head outdoors and collect your seeds as they fall into the bag, while at the same time, protecting them from critter snatching. Love it!

sunflower in bag

A gardener has to sleep, you know, and we won’t sleep well knowing there are a host of furry little animals after our seeds. Besides, we have plans for those seeds We’re going to make a pine cone bird feeder.

pinecone bird seed feeder

For details and how-to instructions, check the Kid Buzz section on my garden blog, BloominThyme. This craft is easy and fun!