One of the most popular types of bird seed is black oil sunflower seed. It attracts a variety of birds to your feeder, and it is easy to buy. All of the different sunflower seeds come from the sunflower plant, and they produce a very similar seeds. The black oil sunflower seeds are popular for birds because they have thin shells and are meatier.
Sunflower bird seed is one of the easiest types of bird seed that you can grow. You can use the bird seed that you purchased and take the seeds to grow them. You just take the seeds and plant them, and you watch the flowers grow. They will make new seeds at the end of the season when the flower is wilting, and you can gather them for your bird feeder.
If you want to grow sunflower bird seed, you need to know how to plant and take care of your sunflowers. Continue reading to learn all about how to grow sunflowers for sunflower bird seed.
How to Grow Sunflower Bird Seed
Sunflower seeds are easy to grow. You can use the seeds in your bird seed to plant them, or you can buy them from a nursery. You cannot use sunflower seeds that have been roasted or cooked because they won’t germinate, but you can use any plain, uncooked sunflower seeds.
Take the seeds and choose a spot where they have full sun. You can dig down one to two inches to plant them, and keep them eight inches to a foot apart. The soil should be loose around the seeds so that the roots can take hold and the shoot can sprout. Make sure that you plant them when you are past the final frost of the spring.
You can plant them in all kinds of soil, or you can use planters that are deep. You don’t need to fertilize them. Once you plant them, you need to water them every day for the first few weeks. Then, you can water them every other day. Make sure that you pull weeds because they can overwhelm the plant and compete with it for water and sun.
Once your sunflowers grow, you might need to stake them if they are taller than three feet to keep them standing tall. The seeds will begin to ripen in the fall as the seed heads turn down. Then, the flowers will shrivel up. You need to cover their heads if you plan to gather the seeds because birds will feed directly on them from the flowers.
When you are ready to gather the seeds, cut the flower heads off the stalks and let them dry. Then, you can rub the seeds off of them. You can also place the entire head on the feeder for the birds. If you want to store seeds for later, you need to place them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place so that they stay fresh.
How Hard Is it To Grow Sunflowers?
Would you believe me if I tell you that they grow almost automatically? At least, that is what happened to us. We are feeding our birds black oil sunflower seeds, and as they eat them, they drop some on the garden ground.
And just like that, without doing anything other than routine irrigation, we have beautiful sunflowers around our bird feeder and other areas of our garden. Take a look at the pictures below. It is almost as if the birds designed that area for us!
We also validated that sunflowers don’t face each other on cloudy days. In case you wonder, this is something some people believe.
Best Way to Feed Birds Sunflower Seeds
Sunflower seeds are often larger than seeds that can fit in mesh or tube feeders. That’s why it is best to use a tray or platform feeder, and you can sprinkle them on the feeder. You can grow sunflowers and place the heads on your feeder, or you can buy them. You can feed them as whole seeds.
The birds are able to crack the outset shell, or the hull, and there is meat inside that is nutritious for them. The only issue is the discarded shells and seeds, which can be messy and damage your grass once enough pile up. You will want to clean under your feeder at least once a week to prevent this from happening.
On the other hand, we really didn’t do anything to clean up the area, and you can see what happened in the pictures above. We like it!
Of course, if you have or want to have flowers or plants other than sunflowers underneath the feeders, you will have to clean the area often or you will get sunflowers like us.
People often want to know if sunflowers will grow from bird seed, and the answer is that they will. Sunflowers are one of the easiest plants to grow as long as you have a spot where they get full sunlight.
You need to plan on having the sunflower seeds when the plant is finished growing. The flower will wilt, and you can remove the flowerheads with the seeds on them. Store them for later or feed them right away, and you can save some to plant the following season. This project can be a lot of fun for children and adults, and the birds will enjoy the fruits of your labor.