Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cutting the Sunflower Heads from the Plants

On Friday, June 20, 2014, it was the 98th day of my second DIY sunflower garden. And, that was the first day that I began to cut off the sunflower heads to harvest them for seeds. I probably cut around two dozen of the larger heads. I checked the back sides to see that they were yellowing and indented and that the petals had already fallen off.

White Mommy Cat Inspecting Cut Sunflower Heads
White Mommy Cat Inspecting Cut Sunflower Heads
Photo Taken June 20, 2014
Last year, it was closer to the first of June when I was harvesting the seeds from the sunflower heads. In 2013, I was able to use my Florida Room for the drying of the sunflower heads. This year, things changed significantly when I located the six baby kittens that the white mommy cat had stashed in my neighbor's bushes!

White Mommy Cat Inspecting Cut Sunflower Heads
White Mommy Cat Inspecting Cut Sunflower Heads
Photo Taken June 20, 2014
Now the mommy cat and six baby kittens are enjoying the pleasures of my Florida Room. So, I am using my garage for the drying location. After cutting about two dozen sunflower heads, I put them in the lid to my 55-gallon trash can. That seemed to work quite well for supporting the heads while they dry. I placed the lid on the top of the garbage can in the garage and have left it there for the right time to harvest the seeds.

Today, June 24th, is the 102nd day of my sunflower garden. I have filled a second lid with the cut sunflower heads. I have also been cutting the smaller heads and placing them at the foot of a crepe myrtle tree at the back of my property. Yesterday, I found a squirrel had actually climbed to the top of one of my taller sunflower plants to chew off one of the heads! So, to keep those squirrels happy, I have cut several dozen sunflower heads to keep them happy.

The squirrels aren't the only critters climbing my sunflower plants! The female and male cardinal birds have been landing on the stalks and actually snapping a few plants. I've also seen the baby mockingbirds jumping around at the base of the sunflower garden. Numerous times, the hummingbird has made an appearance, but it doesn't stick around long enough for me to snap a photo!

By the way, yesterday morning I was working out at Bailey's Powerhouse Gym. Chatting with a friend for a while, she suddenly stopped and asked me, "you don't smoke pot do you?" I looked at her surprised and said, "no, but I was working in my sunflower garden this morning, cutting the heads." You see, I must have reeked of the pungent sunflower odor. When you are cutting the heads, you get a little sticky residue on your hands. And the sunflower leaves can impart a strong smell when you handle them! Don't be working in your sunflower garden the day of any job interview! They might think you smell like pot, or something!!!

P.S. Oh, mommy cat? Well at 8:45am on Friday, June 20th, I located the six baby kittens and brought them into the Florida Room. Next, I was looking for the right opportunity to bring in mommy cat. You can see she was hanging around when I was cutting the sunflower heads early in the afternoon. I didn't want to "grab" her because that might unduly frighten her. She had to be comfortable coming inside. Well, the opportunity presented itself at 3:45pm that day. Yeah, it took me six hours for her to be ready to be with her babies inside!


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