Saturday, September 08, 2018

Do Your Heads Hang Low?

This morning, I ventured into the garden with the intention of harvesting a couple of sunflowers; I ended up cutting more than I had anticipated, due to the advanced stage of droopage that I encountered.

SpellCheck would have you believe that droopage is not a word, but, I beg to differ; droopage is the perfect word to describe this...

...wouldn't you agree?

Droopage (as defined by Chellesters Dictionary), is a natural part of the growth cycle of the sunflower; once the sunflower seeds form and mature within the head, the weight causes the head to bow; the more seeds, the heavier the head, the heavier the head, the deeper the bow. Clearly, I have a lot of seeds in the garden this year, as evidenced by the sunflowers bent almost to the ground, despite the support of the old wooden tripods that we propped them up with earlier in the season.

Since I plan to brine and roast the seeds, once they are fully mature, I needed to prevent them from falling out of the heads, or, of being stolen by birds, mice, ants, and other garden critters; in order to achieve that, I wrapped the heads with cheesecloth, turban-style, before hanging them in one of our empty dog kennels to dry.

I'm not sure how long it will take until the seeds are ready to pull from the heads, but, since they are each in a different stage of readiness, I will be checking them daily. The "youngest" seeds are still pretty green...

...while the largest of the heads ( shown next to Boomer's large feeding dish, for size reference) is the most far advanced, as far as ripeness goes...

These heads represent about a third of the flowers in the garden, which means that I will be repeating this process again at least once-if not twice-more. I figure I'll have ample opportunity to practice my awesome knot-tying skills, and, droopage will no longer be an issue in the garden.

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