Black Oilseed Sunflower Update

Back at the beginning of March, I wrote:

So we will be planting a small packet’s worth of sunflower seeds to see what germination rates are like and what yields are like. Depending on the results, we will plant what we think we need to produce 2 gallons of sunflower oil next year and, depending on the harvest, invest in an oil expeller press.

At worst, we will have a wonderful display of sunflowers and the birds will have an incredible feast this fall and winter. In fact, it’ll probably be a challenge to keep the birds away from the sunflower heads as the seeds ripen.

How have they done? The germination rate was good though not great but it didn’t matter since we planted every 6 inches in rows 6 inches apart.

Best let them speak for themselves.

So far, we’ve outwitted the birds.  The rowcover kept the birds from eating the seed and

we’ll drape old deer fencing over the frame when the flowers open.  The display is going to be fantastic.

More pictures.

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2 Responses to Black Oilseed Sunflower Update

  1. The birds aren’t usually a huge problem here but some sort of weavil is eating out the nutritious germ!

  2. MikeH says:

    Hi Telsing,

    Yep, we’ve seen some evidence of similar insect damage. It would seem that they are Red Sunflower Seed Weevil. I don’t know how extensive it is but I guess we’ll find out when we extract oil.


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