When to start saving seeds from the sunflowers?
I can see the seeds now that much of the disk florets have fallen, I saw many fallen on the floor today, before I was wondering where the florets were disappearing. There are more photos of the recent activity in my plant journal [http://bit.ly/1qAn1Vi] related to this post.
I have two questions now; first being, when can I chop the heads off and start saving the seeds? I am still watering the plant as I was when it was thriving and a significant amount of leaves are still green, not to mention the new multiple flower-heads at the base of one of the plants. Also one of the two plants (the one few days older than the other) the whole stem of which has turned yellow along with the leaves close to the flower which are almost dried off. I expect the other one to go yellow like the older one too. However when would be the right time to cut the heads and extract the seeds? Should I keep watering and let the whole plants dry off and die naturally?
My second question is regarding this - if you may, accidental birth of a seedling. I was told by Kerry Mauck here to avoid using the old soil to grow new sunflower plants as the new seedlings are vulnerable to pests. My concern is, should I dig this newly sprout out along with a section of the soil it's in currently and raise it in a cup and transfer to the lawn outside where I have been planning on growing new seeds?
My plan is to discard the soil in this pot after the two large sunflowers die and start over with fresh soil and new seeds.
seeds in the sunflower heads