Sunflower Seeds ?

Dumb question but I have one sunflower head that I want to save the seeds from then the birds can have the rest. This is a sunbeem supreme and I would like seeds for next year. I have it protected right now but don't know when to pick the flower. Do I let it dry on the plant or pick and then let dry? Last year I grew jade & black oil sunflowers but the birds got all the seeds :( I'm hoping to harvest at least one flower head from these plants too for next year. Any tips?
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wrote:

No so much a tip as a piggyback question . . . I grew my first sunflowers last year -- in window boxes in Brooklyn, NYC ! -- and let the flowers whither on the stem. Once the petals fell off, I removed the seeds and froze some.
Unfortunately, only about 20% of those frozen seeds germinated this spring. So I'd like to echo the question, and also ask if freezing is the right choice ?
Thanks.
Chaz
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put some nylon net around the flower head to keep the birds out, then let the seeds dry.....do not freeze the seeds, just release from the seed pod(?) and keep in a paper sack in a cool place until next spring...
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ginnyp wrote:

can also cut the stems, as they are just starting to dye off, and hang them upside down in a warm dark place. I have also seen a huge rat climb up the stem of the sunflower and eat the seeds!! no bull...
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