Sunflower head moldy, are seeds toast?

terrynewNovember 9, 2012

Oops, I lay my sunflower heads face-up to dry on newspaper inside, instead of (I know read) hanging them. The seeds appeared to be drying nicely but when I turned the heads over, I saw many had mold on the underside. Removing the seeds produced lots of smokey mold, and some of the mold had worked its way through to the seed-side of the heads. I've thrown away most of the seeds that were growing in the moldy areas, but there are still many seeds whose shells had been in contact with the dust/mold, mixed in among the non-contacted ones. They are all solid and dry, with no visible damage, but can they be still be used as either (a) planting seed, or (b) bird seed?

Thanks,

...Terry

PS Please be gentle with me, I'm already feeling dumb about this.

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remy_gw

Hi Terry,
Don't feel dumb! for one reason or another, it was just too moist for too long and that cause mold. In another year you could do the same thing and have no mold.
The seeds that look undamaged, might be fine. Since they are dry now, you can test to make sure they are viable. The paper towel test is really easy. The link below shows how.
Remy

Here is a link that might be useful: Paper Towel Seed Test

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 11:45AM
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