I have never hunted with anyone that doesn’t love dove hunting. But few people plant sunflower fields for doves. I get it though. On top of being expensive, they are super finicky…especially when it comes to the timing. In this episode, I chat about our experience when you cut sunflowers too early. Ideally, you wait until your flowers are dead and completely dried out…even if you have to hammer them with round-up to expedite that process. But what if you planted your flowers late and don’t have access to a sprayer? Or what if you have access to a brush hog and haven’t had time to spray them? What if you just decide to mow them before they are 100% ready? Then what?
Well, this is the scenario that we were faced with this year. And because it was one of our personal fields and not one of our clients, we rolled the dice. Partially because it wouldn’t have been the end of the world if it didn’t work. And partially because I was curious about what would happen. I will note some of the pictures below but for the full explanation, listen to the podcast!
In the pic above, the field is prepped and planted. Mid May. In these next few pics, you can see the field moving along through the year.
These next three pics are mid August when I was looking at mowing them for the season which started Sep 1. As you can see, it is still clearly green. The seeds are mature but that is it. The sunflower head is still white, fibery, and pretty sticky.
We went ahead and just mowed the field as is to see what would happen.
I don’t have any great pics of how the sunflower heads looked after it was mowed, but the seed simply did not separate from the head. Most of the field was just whole sunflower heads with all the seeds in tact. Some of the heads did tear or break apart…but even on those, the seed was still attached to the head. It took about a week to ten days, but eventually those sunflower heads did dry out entirely and that is when the birds started getting to the seeds.
Here are some post hunting pics for your enjoyment 🙂