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Sunflower Greens

Black Oil Sunflower - In Hull

See Crop Note

Often called Sunnys, these Greens are absolutely Awesome!

Seed to Green in 8 - 12 Days

Yield = 2:1

Seed Shelf Life at 70° = 1 - 3 years

Greens Shelf Life = 1 - 3 weeks

Nutritional info:

Vitamins A, B, C and E

Calcium, Chlorophyll, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Phosphorus, Potassium

Amino Acids

Protein: 20-25%

Sprouting Instructions

How much you soak depends on the area you are planting - see here.

Yields vary depending on method used, temperature and technique. We could get 2-3 pounds of Sunflower Greens from an 11x22 inch tray.

Planting Medium: Redmond's Clay

When growing Greens: You really MUST Pre-Sprout before planting.


Put seed* into a bowl or your Sprouter.

Add 2-3 times as much cool (60-70 degree) water.

Mix seeds up to assure even water contact for all.

Allow seeds to Soak for 8-12 hours.

Note: Sunflower seeds in their shell will FLOAT. You MUST weigh them down when soaking or they won't all take up water. We use a plate that rests right on top of the seeds in the bowl or bucket in which we soak, but the easiest of all methods for the home grower is to use a jar with a lid. Put your seeds in and fill the jar to the brim with water, screw on the lid and presto - all of your seeds are submerged!

Empty the seeds into your sprouter if necessary.

Drain off the soak water.

Rinse thoroughly with cool (60-70°) water

and Drain thoroughly.

Set anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature (70° is optimal) between Rinses.

Rinse and Drain again in 8-12 hours.

And, perhaps one more...

Rinse and Drain in 8-12 hours.

And, conceivably one more...

Rinse and Drain in 8-12 hours.

The goal is to have a small root before planting.

When most of the seeds have sprouted tiny (1/8-1/4 inch) roots it is time to plant. This is typically after just 2-3 Rinse and Drain cycles.


Redmond's Clay absorbs liquid so readily and holds it so supremely that you need little of it. We use 3 Cups for an 11 x 11 inch tray and 6 Cups for an 11 x 22 inch tray. If you're using another size tray, make it 1/4 - 1/2 inch deep. Spray water evenly across the surface then spread it out as evenly as you can. We like to use ionized water. (The amount of liquid is this: a little more than one quart for an 11 x 22 inch tray. You don't want more than a little left in the Drip Tray. Pour off what water remains above the ridges of the Drip Tray. Proceed...

Spread seeds evenly on thoroughly moistened clay.

We use a lot of Sunflowers and though some literature will tell you that your seeds should not ever lay atop each other, we have found from years of experience and thousands of pounds of Greens grown that that is bunk! You will learn for yourself that some Greens (like these) produce a plant that takes up less room than the seed (sunflower seeds are in fact going to grow all the way to the top of the crop, rising on tender stalks, and be shed to display 2 lovely leaves which are the meat of the seed transformed into the plant. This is dicot seed at its most illustrative!) and so to maximize your yield your seeds must lay atop each other to some degree. The thing to watch is this: If you find mold or fungal problems in your Greens then lessen the amount of seed you plant. The hotter/more humid your climate is the more of an issue the mold/fungus is. As always, you need to adapt to your own climate and seasonal conditions. And learn as you go - this is really easy and fun stuff to learn!

Cover the planted tray

with an inverted tray (the Cover Tray) - to keep light out and moisture in.

Note: Your covering tray should have holes or slits in it so that some air circulation exists. Without this very minimal air flow you might have mold or fungal problems.

Place in a low-light, room temperature location. 70° is always optimal but Sunflower Greens will grow very well in warmer temperatures also.

Water lightly once or twice a day.

The goal is to keep the sprouts moist until their roots bury themselves in the soil/medium - at which point your goal is to keep the soil/medium moist. Spraying the sprouts is best - whether you use a garden hose sprayer, hand sprayer or faucet sprayer - just try to make sure that every sprout gets rinsed and quenched until they bury their roots. You may use Kelpman if you like.

Water the medium.

Once the roots are buried all you need to do is keep the medium moist - the seeds and subsequent Greens will get the moisture they need through their roots. Water from the side if possible, to prevent injuring the tender Plants.

Uncover your Greens

Wait 3-4 days until they are 1-2 inches tall or until they push the covering tray up (it really will do that - it is cool!)

Move to a well lit location to Green your Greens (If you use direct sunlight (a very good idea for Greens) be prepared to do more watering). Keep the soil/medium moist by watering the soil/medium daily. Watch it grow.


When the plants are about 3-4 inches tall and have green leaves - by cutting the plants just above soil or mediums surface.

Harvest should occur BEFORE "true leaves" begin to show. They are leaves which will appear from the center of the first 2 leaves. If you see a few Greens with these tiny leaves forming then get your scissors NOW - the Greens get less tasty (a bit bitter) if left go too long.

Note: Sunflower Greens will shed their hulls as their leaves open, but there are always some that are slow to shed. You can take the tray at an angle and brush your hand back and forth over the top of the Greens to help the stubborn along.

If you are going to store your crop: During the final 8-12 hours minimize the surface moisture of your Greens - they will store best in your refrigerator if they are dry to the touch. So if you water try to keep the water off the plants - just water the soil/medium.

Transfer your crop to a plastic bag or the sealed container of your choice - glass is good - and put them in your refrigerator.

Or Use:

1/4-1/3 cup for a 5" square Tray.

1-1 1/2 cup for an 11" square Tray.

2-3 Cups for an 11 inch x 22 inch Tray.

The surest way to know what amount of seed to use: Spread dry seed on the bottom of your sprouter so that the seed is spread evenly but densely.