Garden-friendly Bird Feeding

June 9, 2011

Green FeederIf you feed the birds you already know that some bird seed can germinate amazingly fast. Black oil sunflower seeds, a favorite of back yard birds, can sprout even when they’ve become just a little damp. In fact any seed that still retains its shell or hull can germinate if it lands on the ground and receives a little rain. Even whole corn kernels can germinate rather easily.

If you don’t like sunflower seeds or corn plants suddenly appearing in your well tended garden or lawn, the solution is to purchase only garden-friendly seeds.  These are seeds where the hull has been completely removed. Also purchase mixes with cracked corn rather than whole kernels because cracked corn cannot germinate.

The only exception to the “no hull” rule is Nyjer seed.  Nyjer is sold with the hulls intact, but since it’s heat treated when it enters this country, it can no longer germinate. Heat treating removes unwanted foreign bugs and other seeds and also renders the seed sterile. Although it used to be called “thistle”, Nyjer seed is in no way related to the invasive Canadian thistle in this country.

Some great garden-friendly bird foods are whole sunflower hearts, sunflower chips with or without peanut bits, or mixes such as Duncraft’s Super No-waste Blend or Duncraft’s Premium Black and Gold Blend.

Another garden-friendly bird food is suet.  Just read the label to see the ingredients. If whole sunflower seeds are included, skip that flavor for one that only has hearts, peanut bits, or tree nuts. You can also feed hummingbird nectar. Another garden- friendly food that birds love are Duncraft’s Miracle Meals. Visit Duncraft’s No Waste, No Mess Seeds for a full selection of garden-friendly bird foods!

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