Birds and Immature Sunflowers in My Garden
This is the first year that I have planted sunflowers in my wife's small garden. It is July and they are growing strong. The Yellow Disk type have already opened up and are very nice to look at. However, they don't appear to be too mature. Yet, that does not deter the yellow finches from ripping out the black seeds and eating them. I was hoping for full blooming heads in late August, early Septemeber, but at this rate, the petals will be plucked off and the seeds will be all pulled out of the heads of the flower. Is this normal? Will they continue to pick at seemingly immature heads for the seeds so early in the growing season? Do you feel the heads are mature this early? What can I do to stop this? I am fearful that when my Mammoth heads begin to bloom, this will happen too.
Our birds are much nicer and wait, however, I've read where some folks bag the heads of their sunflowers to protect them until full bloom. Stick a brown lunch bag on the head and keep it on with a lose fitting rubber band. (Don't choke the head off.) For birds, it's out of sight. out of mind. ;)