Fall Vegetable Gardening – Planting Peas and Thinning Beets

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soaking peas

Yesterday Lucy the trouble puggle and I planted a second crop of fall peas. This time around we planted Sugar Daddy Snap Peas outside in the garden boxes and Sugar Snap Peas {the pole variety} in the greenhouse.

fall vegetable gardening

I like planting the Sugar Daddy Snap Peas outside in the fall because they are a bush variety, and if we end up with an early frost, I can always cover the peas with a row cover and not have to worry about the plants keeling over.

puggle puppies fall garden

Have I ever told you Lucy LOVES peas.

puggle puppy

The only trick of course is making sure she doesn’t dig them up before they sprout.

Luckily, I always have the garden hose aimed and ready to go if she starts to look a little suspicious. ;)

thinning plants

If you have not planted your fall beets yet, HOP TO IT! Time is a wastin’. It would be a sad, sad, Thanksgiving without them.

thinning beets

I planted mine about 2 weeks ago and look how well they are doing.

How is your fall planting coming along?

~Mavis

The Backyard Homestead

Looking for a great gardening book? Check out The Backyard Homestead and learn how you can produce all the produce you need on only a quarter acre.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



How to Grow Your Own Food – 8/14/2013 Garden Tally

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garden boxes

This year I’m on a mission to grow 4,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables in my suburban backyard. In 2012 I was able to grow 2,028 pounds, and in 2013 I’m going double or nothing. I have absolutely no idea if I’ll be able to achieve my goal. But, as with any adventure, half the fun is getting there.   ~Mavis

*******

pink stargazer lilliesThe lilies are blooming!

Since we were out of town this past week on our epic road trip to St. Jude, so we didn’t get to harvest too much from the backyard garden. We did manage to pick over 46 pounds of pears last night though. We also picked a few strawberries, beans and some tomatoes as well so luckily there are a few things to tally up.

I suspect next week is going to be a good one harvest wise because I know we’ve got potatoes to harvest and when I left, there were several zucchinis that were ready to be picked as well. Granted, the zucchinis are probably this size of baseball bats right now, but they’ll still need to be harvested. ;)

How is your garden growing these days?

~Mavis

Here is what I have harvested so far this year:

fresh basil

Basil – 11 ounces

I LOVE making fresh pesto.

chioggia beets

Beets -12 pounds 1 ounces

It seems like we’ve been harvesting beets left and right lately. I like to toss a little olive oil, and salt and pepper on them and roast them for dinner.

bok choy leaves

Bok Choy – 4 oz

Check out this Asian Noodle Salad with Bok Choy I made. It’s pretty awesome.

Broccoli-Cranberry-and-Almond-Salad-with-Feta

Broccoli – 13 ounces

We didn’t get much broccoli this sprint but I did plant more in my fall garden. If you haven’t tried it yet, this recipe for Broccoli Cranberry and Almond Salad with Feta is delicious.

head of cabbage

Cabbage - 40 pounds 14 ounce

We are done harvesting cabbage until fall. There are more heads planted alongside the greenhouse and I started more cabbage seeds for a winter harvest so we should be cook for a while.Here is my recipe for homemade sauerkraut.

carrot in dirt

Carrots – 3 ounces

With a little bit of luck we should have fresh carrots to harvest this December.

chives

Chives – 1 pound 4 ounces

We are picking about an ounce a week to use in recipes.

lemon cucumber

Cucumbers 2 ounces

I noticed a few more yellow cucumbers growing last night while I was watering, I’ll have to go out a little later and see if they are ready to harvest yet.

green eggs

Egg Count – 1,717

I have no idea how many eggs the chickens laid last week because my neighbor Hulda and her daughter were taking care of the chickens and garden while I was away. I should have asked her to keep track but oh well. ;)

elephant garlic bulb

Garlic 9 pounds 2 ounces

Our garlic has been harvested for this year. If you’ve yet to harvest yours, I have a quick post on How to Harvest Garlic.

garlic scapes

Garlic Scapes 11 ounces

We used these to make Garlic Scape Pesto. Yumm!

green beans

Green Beans 8 pounds 6 ounces

I’m not sure what else we are having for dinner tonight but green beans are on the menu, that’s for sure!

puggle puppies lucy the puggle dog

Kale – 13 pounds 8 ounces

We decided to put Lucy the puggle dog in charge of inspecting the kale. ;)

kohlrabi

Kohlrabi 5 pounds 10 ounces

lettuce

Lettuce – 35 pounds 3 ounces

I filled 2 pallets with lettuce seeds last week and just noticed them starting to pop through the soil. I’ll have to try and get some pictures a little later.

microgreens

Microgreens 5 ounces

My favorite way to eat microgreens is with egg salad sandwiches.

blueberry jam with mint recipe

Mint 10 oz

I made some blueberry mint jam and also harvested some mint for tea.

oregano container herb garden

Oregano - 13 ounces

fresh onions

Onion – 6 pounds 8 ounces

We’ve been pulling up fresh onions from the garden as we need them. Note to self: Plant about 10 times more next year.

basket of pears

Pears 46 pounds 3 ounces

Yesterday we picked our first ever bumper crop of pears and they are HUGE! I think it’s pretty amazing that you can dig a hole and plant a twig sized tree and a few years later it will be loaded with fruit.

sugar snap peas

Peas – 42 pounds 9 ounces

We planted bush peas the other day and I’ll probably plant the sugar snap peas {pole} in another week or two for a late fall harvest.

red potatoes

Potatoes - 23 pounds 0 ounces

 

radish

Radish - 22 pounds 2 ounces

raspberries in wooden baskets

Raspberries – 21 pounds 7 ounces

Raspberry season is officially over in our backyard. :(

rhubarb

Rhubarb – 31 pounds 7 ounces

So far this year we’ve made rhubarb vanilla jam, rhubarb walnut muffins, and strawberry rhubarb pies

purple sage

Sage – 14 ounces

fresh organic spinach

Spinach - 15 ounces

grow your own sprouts

Sprouts -2 pounds 6 ounces

Here are instructions for growing your own sprouts.

wood pallet garden strawberries

Strawberries 14 pounds 12 ounce

The strawberries are producing again. We have them growing in the pallet garden, in the greenhouse and alongside the house. So far we have made strawberry kiwi jam, strawberry freezer jam, strawberry pie, and homemade strawberry shortcake.

Rainbow Swiss chard

Swiss Chard 15 pounds 5 ounces

Chickens love it! :) :)

cherry tomatoes

Tomatoes 17 pounds 9 ounces

I picked all these tomatoes this morning! Now I just have to figure out what to do with all of them.

cut-wheatgrass

Wheatgrass - 7 ounces

zucchini

Zucchini – 5 pounds 3 ounces

We’ve got zucchini! The plants are not as big as the ones last year around this time {we had to plant several times because of slugs} but we’ll take what we can get.

Total Food Harvested in 2013: 416 pounds 0 ounces

Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 1,717

If you are new to gardening or just want to learn more on the topic of organic gardening, my #1 favorite book is The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food By Tanya L.K. Denckla.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Garden Blog – Harvesting Pears

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puggle puppyAfter the Girl and I woke up from our naps yesterday we played with Lucy the Puggle Dog in the backyard. At one point she wandered off and when she returned, she had her mouth wrapped around a giant pear. It took us a minute to realize where she had found it.

pear tree

“The pear tree! The pears must be ripe.” I said to The Girl.

We hurried inside and grabbed a few bowls and then headed back out to the tree.

pear

Last year we harvested 7 or 8 pears and thought that was kind of a big deal, so this years harvest seemed like a bumper crop to us. Especially since we planted our Anjou pear tree just 5 years ago.
basket of pearsWe ended up harvesting just over 46 pounds of pears.

I couldn’t think of a nicer “welcome home” gift.

It’s good to be back. :)

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

St. Jude Garden and Kay Kafe

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St. Jude Garden

Well, we did it!

What started off as a crazy idea turned into reality when we met Chef Miles at the St. Jude Garden yesterday in Memphis, Tennessee. We were able to donate enough gnomes so that each one of the 59 garden boxes would be able to have at least one gnome placed in it. How cool is that?

chef miles St. Jude GardenChef Miles, who prepares food for the Kay Kafe gave us a tour of the gardens and talked to us about the types of vegetables they grow at the St. Jude garden {squash, beans, tomatoes, greens, herbs} with the help of volunteers. Thanks to my buddies at Botanical Interests Seed Company we were able to pass along a HUGE seed box of seeds {250+ packets} to Chef Miles for next years garden. Garden gnomes, seeds and money, sounds like the perfect combination if you ask me.

St. Jude Garden Boxes

In case you didn’t know already, at St. Jude the faculty, staff and patients not only get to enjoy the fresh produce from the St. Jude garden, but the cafe tries to make sure all the food served in the Kay Kafe is locally sourced and comes from within 150 miles of the hospital.

St. Jude Garden Boxes

We were not only able to visit the gardens, but we were also to spend time with some of the patients and make a gnome craft, as well as get a private tour and visit the Danny Thomas Pavilion. Because of privacy reasons we did not take any photos but I can tell you we were all very impressed with the facility, the kids and the whole experience. It was a wonderful once in a lifetime experience.

A BIG thank you to everyone who donated a gnome, made a cash donation or wished us well on our journey. It was really a once in a lifetime journey and I am just so glad we were able to help.

I’ll write more later, but I wanted to share the pictures with you asap.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, see you back in a bit.

Mavis

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Friday Night at the Movies – The Wizard of Oz

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Since we are headed to Kansas tonight, I think it only fitting that my buddies and I watch The Wizard of Oz {yep, I know, not even a documentary!}.

I used to love this movie as a little girl, and with Amazon Prime, we can easily get it and stream it to my laptop in our hotel–there are definitely some perks to technology.  I think we will lay around in our jammies and eat junk food.  Sounds like the perfect ending to an awesome day if you ask me.

the wizard of oz

Let me know what you think if you decide to watch it–or if you have already seen it.  Did you love it? Hate it? Can’t wait to watch it over and over?

PicMonkey Collage

Looking for more movies?

Check out the full list of my Friday Night at the Movies Selections or click on over & look at all the movies on Amazon Instant Video. There are a ton of videos to choose from that will cost you absolutely nothing {nada, zilch, free-o} with Amazon Prime; like thousands of regular movies & TV shows & hundreds of documentaries {Wahoo!}. Get all the details HERE!

Peace out Girl Scouts & have yourself a great weekend,

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How to Grow Your Own Food – 8/7/2013 Garden Tally

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garden boxes

This year I’m on a mission to grow 4,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables in my suburban backyard. In 2012 I was able to grow 2,028 pounds, and in 2013 I’m going double or nothing. I have absolutely no idea if I’ll be able to achieve my goal. But, as with any adventure, half the fun is getting there.   ~Mavis

*******

Square Foot Gardening

This past week we harvested just under 50 pounds of fruits and vegetables from our backyard garden and collected 54 eggs from our flock of hens. Growing your own food is cool no matter what size yard you have.

This year the garden has be plagued with slugs. Thanks to Sluggo, I finally feel like I finally have them under control, but that can’t make up the 3 or 4 weeks growing time I’ve lost or the fact that my harvest totals are about 50 pounds short of what I had grown last year at this time. This was suppose to be the year of double or nothing, but so far it’s not looking like I’ll make it to 4,000 pounds by the end of the year. But hey, if I can make it to 2,000 pounds again, I’d be happy with that.

~Mavis

Here is what I have harvested so far this year:

fresh basil

Basil – 11 ounces

I LOVE making fresh pesto.

chioggia beets

Beets -12 pounds 1 ounces

It seems like we’ve been harvesting beets left and right lately. I like to toss a little olive oil, and salt and pepper on them and roast them for dinner.

bok choy leaves

Bok Choy – 4 oz

Check out this Asian Noodle Salad with Bok Choy I made. It’s pretty awesome.

Broccoli-Cranberry-and-Almond-Salad-with-Feta

Broccoli – 13 ounces

We didn’t get much broccoli this sprint but I did plant more in my fall garden. If you haven’t tried it yet, this recipe for Broccoli Cranberry and Almond Salad with Feta is delicious.

head of cabbage

Cabbage - 40 pounds 14 ounce

We are done harvesting cabbage until fall. There are more heads planted alongside the greenhouse and I started more cabbage seeds for a winter harvest so we should be cook for a while.Here is my recipe for homemade sauerkraut.

carrot in dirt

Carrots – 3 ounces

I just planted another round of carrots for our fall garden. With a little bit of luck we should have fresh carrots to harvest this December.

chives

Chives – 1 pound 4 ounces

We are picking about an ounce a week to use in recipes.

lemon cucumber

Cucumbers 2 ounces

We picked our first lemon cucumber yesterday and it tasted great! If you have little ones I think they’d love growing these because of their unusual shape.

green eggs

Egg Count – 1,717

The chickens only laid 54 eggs last week. I’m not sure what’s going on over there, maybe the chickens are on strike or something, I’m not sure, all I know is we are eating eggs as fast as they can produce them. :)

elephant garlic bulb

Garlic 9 pounds 2 ounces

Our garlic has been harvested for this year. If you’ve yet to harvest yours, I have a quick post on How to Harvest Garlic.

garlic scapes

Garlic Scapes 11 ounces

We used these to make Garlic Scape Pesto. Yumm!

Green Beans with Toasted Almonds

Green Beans 7 pounds 13 ounces

All the fat Roma beans are gone and now we just have the skinny French ones to pick. Before too long it will be time to harvest the pole beans that we having growing up the tepee poles. It’s kind of fun growing different varieties of beans. I can’t remember how many we are growing this year but we love them all.

puggle puppies lucy the puggle dog

Kale – 13 pounds 8 ounces

We decided to put Lucy the puggle dog in charge of inspecting the kale. ;)

kohlrabi

Kohlrabi 5 pounds 10 ounces

lettuce

Lettuce – 35 pounds 3 ounces

I filled 2 pallets with lettuce seeds the other day so hopefully when we get back from our road trip we’ll start to see some sprouts popping through the soil.

microgreens

Microgreens 5 ounces

My favorite way to eat microgreens is with egg salad sandwiches.

blueberry jam with mint recipe

Mint 10 oz

I made some blueberry mint jam and also harvested some mint for tea.

oregano container herb garden

Oregano - 13 ounces

fresh onions

Onion – 6 pounds 8 ounces

We’ve been pulling up fresh onions from the garden as we need them. Note to self: Plant about 10 times more next year.

sugar snap peas

Peas – 42 pounds 9 ounces

We planted bush peas the other day and I’ll probably plant the sugar snap peas {pole} in another week or two for a late fall harvest.

red potatoes

Potatoes - 23 pounds 0 ounces

The potatoes are being harvested as we need {or want them} I figure they longer I keep them in the ground the bigger they’ll get. ;) I’ll probably do one big harvest here in a few weeks after school gets underway.

radish

Radish - 22 pounds 2 ounces

I planted radish seeds this week too!

raspberries in wooden baskets

Raspberries – 21 pounds 7 ounces

Raspberry production has slowed way down this week and now all that’s left are a few here and there.

rhubarb

Rhubarb – 31 pounds 7 ounces

Last week we harvested another 12+ pounds pounds of rhubarb from the garden. So fa this year we’ve made rhubarb vanilla jam, rhubarb walnut muffins, and strawberry rhubarb pies

purple sage

Sage – 14 ounces

fresh organic spinach

Spinach - 15 ounces

grow your own sprouts

Sprouts -2 pounds 6 ounces

Here are instructions for growing your own sprouts.

wood pallet garden strawberries

Strawberries 13 pounds 3 ounce

The strawberries are producing again. We have them growing in the pallet garden, in the greenhouse and alongside the house. So far we have made strawberry kiwi jam, strawberry freezer jam, strawberry pie, and homemade strawberry shortcake.

Rainbow Swiss chard

Swiss Chard 15 pounds 5 ounces

Chickens love it! :) :)

heirloom tomatoes

Tomatoes 9 pounds 5 ounces

Sweet diggety! The tomatoes are starting to roll in and let me tell you Bob, we can’t pick them fast enough. So far we’ve pretty much been picking cherry tomatoes, but a few of the larger ones are starting to ripen so it won’t be too long now before we’ll start making tomato sauce.

cut-wheatgrass

Wheatgrass - 7 ounces

zucchini

Zucchini – 5 pounds 3 ounces

We’ve got zucchini! The plants are not as big as the ones last year around this time {we had to plant several times because of slugs} but we’ll take what we can get.

Total Food Harvested in 2013: 311 pounds 2 ounces

Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 1,717

If you are new to gardening or just want to learn more on the topic of organic gardening, my #1 favorite book is The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food By Tanya L.K. Denckla.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Seattle Urban Farm School Tour

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seattle urban farm school

I was going through some pictures last night and totally forgot to tell you about The Seattle Urban Farm School garden we stopped at while on the Seattle Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour last month.

cool garden ideas

The Seattle Urban Farm School is a “little farmhouse in the city where folks can see how much food can be grown in a typical 4,000 square foot lot in every part of the yard.”

walkway with creeping thyme

It just goes to show that you don’t need a huge piece of property to have a cool garden, a backyard flock of chickens and still manage to have a little seating area out back to hang out with your friends and neighbors.

strawberries in gutters

Stacy’s got it all at her place, including these strawberry plants growing in gutters! How cool is that?

chicken coop green roof

The path alongside her house leads to a couple of raised garden beds where she focuses on growing vertically to save garden space.

Buff Orpington

Her chicken coop with a “green” roof is just behind a small patio strip where she has deck chairs set out. You can’t really see it in the photo but it’s a great place to read a book or take a work break from the garden.

vertical pallet garden

My favorite part about her backyard garden, was the vertical pallet gardens she had growing along her fence. I made a strawberry vertical pallet garden last year and had a lot of fun with it.  Stacy’s pallets were filled with nasturtium flowers and herbs and looked ultra hip. She even re-purposed an old bbq and turned it into a herb garden.

The Seattle Urban Farm School was pretty awesome if you ask me. If you’re local, you can check out her hipster classes HERE.

You don’t need a lot of space to have a garden, just a creative mind.

Gardens Rule!

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Mavis Garden Blog – Today’s Harvest

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organic garden vegetables

The day is still young but so far today we have harvested a pint of lettuce {can you measure lettuce in pints?} kale, 3 pints and 1 quart of tomatoes, 1 lemon cucumber and an onion.

walla walla onion

Tacos are on the menu tonight so the lettuce, onion and tomatoes will sure come in handy.

sun gold tomatoes

Sun Gold tomatoes. Have you tried them? They are the best cherry tomatoes on the planet!

puggle puppies lucy the puggle dog

And the kale? Ahem, I think we all know where that is going…

puggle puppies lucy the puggle dog

Let’s just say I think I’m pretty blessed to have a puppy who will eat practically anything I put in front of her. I don’t even have to put it in my mouth and pretend to love it like I used to do with Monkey Boy when he was little to try and get him to try new vegetables.

Nope Lucy the puggle dog might just be the healthiest pup out there.

lemon cucumber

Oh, and the lemon cucumber. HELLO? Have you ever grown one before? This one is just a wee bit under ripe {it fell off the vine as I bumped up against it} but we’ve got more growing so I’m anxious to try them. It’s been years since I’ve had one and I can’t remember what they taste like.

Have you tried a lemon cucumber before? Do you like them?

Pick fruits or veggies in your garden this morning? If so, what?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Square Foot Gardening is Easy

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Square Foot Gardening

Yesterday I spent quite a bit of time in the garden pulling up spent plants and weeding the garden boxes.Even though the day time temps have been pretty warm here {mid 70′s} the mornings have been kind of chilly and it’s already starting to feel like fall.

Which is sort of weird for this time of year. It almost makes me think we’re going to have a long and cold winter {which I wouldn’t mind actually, as long as we get snow}.

pea seeds

I ended up planting 5 squares with Valentine Mesclun Lettuce and another 5 squares with Green Arrow Peas for a late fall harvest. Next week I think I’ll plant a few beets in the square foot garden.

If you haven’t started your fall garden yet, be sure and read my post on Fall Vegetables and you’ll be able to find out what I’m planting in my garden this fall.

kale plant

If you don’t grow kale already, you might want to consider it. Kale is one of the easiest plants on the planet to grow. Seriously, if you’ve never grown anything before, you should be able to grow kale! ;)

red swiss chard

And Swiss chard too! Yep, that stuff is easy peasy to grow.

cucumber plant

In addition to the Swiss Chard, kale, strawberries, celery, tomatoes, and beets we have growing in our square foot garden, we also have cucumbers starting to appear! We had to replant cucumber seeds a few times because of the evil slugs, but ever since I sprinkled down some Sluggo, I haven’t had a problem. Note to self: put Sluggo on the garden supply list for next year.

Have you ever grown a square foot garden before? Did you like it? Would you do it again?

~Mavis

Read more about my adventures in Square Foot Gardening. Are you thinking about putting together a Square foot garden? See the how I built a square foot garden grid HERE. All New Square Foot Gardening

For more information, check out All New Square Foot Gardening.  It is an amazon bestseller and the author, Mel Bartholomew is basically the king of square foot gardening.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How to Dry Sunflower Seeds

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How to Dry Sunflower Seeds

I have the most amazing readers, and most of the time, it is me learning from you, but every once in awhile, someone sends in a question that I think, “Hey, I bet lots of people would love to know the answer to that.”  So, I am going to try to feature some of your questions and answer them, the best I can.

Mavis,

Do you have a preferred or recommended way to dry the sunflower heads to gather seeds? I have tried several times and mine always seem to mold before seeds are ready to harvest. I have tried a few ways with no luck! We decided to try again and the seeds went in the ground today ……would appreciate any tips! Thanks!  On another note…your garden inspires! Thanks for rocking and growing!

irish-eyes-sunflowers

First off, thank you!  Second, good question.  To dry sunflower seeds, it is best to leave the sunflower in the ground.  You will know you are ready to start drying your seeds when the flower has lost its petals and the head begins to droop.  As it starts to die back {you may need to provide some support to the stalk as it is dying} cover the head of the flower with cheese cloth or a paper bag and rubber band or tie around the base of the flower head.

The cheese cloth/bag will keep the birds from attacking your seeds, and catch any seeds that may fall off during the drying process.  If you live in a wet climate, which you may, since you mentioned mold is an issue, you may have to cut the head off of the stalk {leave about 12” of the stalk} and dry it in a covered area {i.e. garage, shed, etc.}.  If you do bring it inside, make sure to still cover the head with the cheese cloth or bag, and hang the plant upside down to dry.

sunflower-seed-heads

Allowing the seeds to dry ON the head of the flower gives the seeds enough time to harden up.  When the seeds are completely dry, keep the head of the flower in the paper bag {or put a paper bag over the head now if you used cheese cloth, and gently brush the head, causing the seeds to naturally fall off into the bag.  If the seeds are giving you trouble, they are not dry enough yet.

I hope that helps.  Thanks again for the question!

Happy Gardening,

Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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