|Photo courtesy brockfarms.com|
In Colorado, all vegetable and flower seeds will store on a shelf at room temperature for at least one year without significant loss of germination. The most important factors in determining how long seed can be stored are seed moisture and storage temperature. The drier the seeds are, the longer they will store. Drying seeds in the shade is better than in direct sunlight. Never use a microwave oven to dry seeds. You may use a conventional oven if you keep the door open and the seed is not heated to more than 100 degrees. Package the seed in moisture-proof containers and store it in a refrigerator or deep freezer. Use sealed cans or jars rather than plastic bags. For more information, check out CSU's Fact Sheet Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds.
If you haven't already done so, harvest lavender now. Harvest lavender stems in the morning when the oils are the most concentrated and at least 50% of the flowers are opened. Use pruning shears to cut the lavender stems as long as possible. Form bundles of 50 to 100 stems and secure them with rubber bands (they will contract as the stems dry out). Dry the harvested lavender in a cool, dark place where there is good air circulation.
|Photo courtesy Donna Duffy|
Sunflower seeds can be roasted by heating in a 300° oven for 15 -25 minutes. If salting is desired, soak seeds overnight in a brine of 2 Tbsp salt to 1 cup water. Boil the brine mix for a few minutes and drain. Spread seeds thinly on a cookie sheet and roast in a 200° oven for 3 hours or until crisp. Enjoy! PlantTalk Colorado provides more information on Harvesting and Roasting Sunflower Seeds.