Sunflower is one of the most common and profitable crops grown in a wide variety of countries worldwide. It occupies a special place in the agricultural economy; however, to obtain tangible efficiency, it is necessary to know how to grow a sunflower correctly to get a high-quality and voluminous crop. As practice shows, this crop is quite inconsistent and sensitive to changes in external conditions.
Sunflower seeds are a source of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the human body. This is especially true in the winter-spring period when additional stimulation of the immune system is needed. Seeds can be consumed as an independent dish or as an additional ingredient for cutlets, salads, pates, fruit smoothies, sauces, and other dishes. Sometimes you will find their seeds turning white, so why are my sunflower seeds white?
- Why Are My Sunflower Seeds White?
- Planting Sunflower Seeds To Avoid White Seeds
- The Benefits Of Sunflower Seeds
Why Are My Sunflower Seeds White?
1. Picking immature seeds
My sunflower seeds turn white if they are picked when immature. Picking the sunflower seeds when they are green is the major reason that makes them turn white. The seeds got are often immature, of no use, and tasteless.
2. Not protected from the birds
If the sunflower heads are not protected from the birds, using a net or paper bag can make my sunflower seeds white. The birds can destroy them, preventing the sunflower heads from maturing, and the seeds formed will be white because of being immature.
3. Cutting of heads
White seeds of the sunflowers are white rather than black with white stripes or black seeds, which can be because heads are cut off. So, before the seeds turn brown or begin to jump, the heads will produce immature white seeds.
4. Drying the sunflower heads in the garage
If you cut the green heads and dry them in the sun in the garage or on the roof, they may turn brown. But the seeds will still retain moisture inside and then produce fleshy white sunflower seeds.
5. Shelling sunflower seeds
If you shell the sunflower seeds before you roast them to prepare them, the seeds will turn white. Preparing them before they are completely dry is a major mistake and can result in mushy white sunflower seeds.
Planting Sunflower Seeds To Avoid White Seeds
1. Selection of a plot for sunflower
Sunflower grows on any soil, but slightly acidic loams, black, and chestnut soils give a good harvest. Wetlands with high acidity, as well as sandstones for productive cultivation, are not suitable. Sowing sunflowers after sugar beets and tomatoes is not recommended.
In these areas, the soil contains much nitrogen, and the culture does not like it. This fact must be taken into account when applying fertilizers. A field previously sown with winter cereals, corn, and cabbage is better suited.
Also, keep in mind that the land requires restoration after sunflower and is not suitable for almost all garden crops. After it, the soil needs to be fertilized and planting spring grains, peas, or beans. They will help to restore the depleted soil quickly. You can return to sowing sunflower in one area only after 7 years.
In autumn, phosphorus-potassium fertilizers are applied to the site, which includes superphosphate and potassium sulfate. After that, the soil is deeply dug to have no subsoil and compacted soil areas at the root level.
2. Seeds preparation
Sunflower is prone to over-pollination, so it is not worth sowing the seeds of the previous harvest. It is best to purchase them from a specialized store. Before sowing, the planting material is calibrated and etched. Calibration is carried out with a sieve, leaving only the largest specimens.
Also, the seeds are checked for grain volume or completeness. They are dipped in a saline solution (a teaspoon of salt per liter of water), and only those that have sunk to the bottom of the container within 10 minutes are used. Growing sunflower seeds requires treating the seeds before planting, as pests like to profit from them.
Chemicals, which are used include Prestige, Agrovital, and Commander. You can prepare a folk remedy for dressing sunflower seeds from 100 g of twisted garlic and onion husks. The components are poured overnight with two liters of boiling water, filtered in the morning, and the seeds are immersed in the solution for 12 hours.
Hybrids sunflowers used today have a high oil content and thin shells, making them more sensitive to temperature conditions. Therefore, planting the seeds of such sunflowers in the open ground should begin after the soil has warmed up sufficiently. The reference value can be considered a temperature of 10-12 degrees at 8-10 cm depth.
Compliance with this condition will ensure rapid and effective germination of sown seeds, and in the future, more uniform development of plants and an increase in yield. If the seed is sown too early, the germination time will increase, and germination also often decreases. To carry out the entire sowing on the site, it should be done within 1-2 days.
The planting density should be determined following the moisture content of the soil. In the stepper regions, no more than 45,000 plants should grow per hectare by the time of harvest. For areas with good moisture, a density of up to 50,000 plants per hectare is allowed. Also, if the choice was made in favor of early maturing seeds, then the planting density can be increased to 55-60 thousand plants per 1 ha.
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The Benefits Of Sunflower Seeds
The sunflower seeds are beneficial because they have many fat-soluble vitamins of A, D, E, and group B. Typically, they absorb well in the intestines because of fats in the seeds. Also, seeds are rich in minerals, including magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and fluoride, and various acids that help lower cholesterol levels.
Sunflower seeds are beneficial to the blood and heart vessels. They are eaten to heal heart attacks, strokes, and atherosclerosis. The effect of these seeds on the hair and skin condition has been realized mainly because of fats and vitamins.
Seeds are especially useful when it is necessary to maintain strength and restore the acid-base balance. Roasted seeds are tastier and have a bright aroma. Sunflower seeds stimulate appetite and saturate well; therefore, they are recommended for underweight and insufficiently rich diets.
Many people are fans of sunflower seeds because of their benefits. Also, when planted, they look like the ornamental plants in the country. Growing them is a very important process to ensure you get a great harvest. But sometimes, you will find the seeds turning white. Using this article, you now know why sunflower seeds turn white.