How to transplant sunflowers grown in a peat pot?
So I bought some sunflowers on a whim but now everything I've read says to plant seeds directly (an impossibility here with all the squirrels and birds) and not to disturb their roots, or if you do, to do it after they first get a set of leaves. What about these guys in this pic?
They're Ring of Fire sunflowers. Should I plant them the way the are in some very nutrient rich soil or should I try to separate them? Should I try to peel away the peat pot? I know peat's very acidic (dunno about peat *pots*) and that sunflowers like neutral or alkaline dirt, but otoh the roots have probably all grown through it like my other pots. The tag and website it directs me to says to plant the whole pot, minus the plastic wrapper of course. I saw where some people recommend snipping all but the tallest but I refuse to do that; 4$ for a single plant is ridiculous, especially when they make you think you're are getting more -- I'd rather just take it back.
I bought some seeds too but I think it's too late to plant them; will they keep for next year?
Also, are the Ring of Fire sunflower seeds edible? How about viable; can I collect the seeds and plant them next year?
This is pretty much the first year I've planted anything since I was 7/8, so learning as I go.