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weeds caused by bird seed

Stabilize the feeder if it hangs and sways in the wind. Mount the feeder on a pole, or set it on a stable surface, such as a table. If you prefer a hanging feeder, buy a sturdy hook that won’t bend or shake on windy days.

Place a tarp or plastic sheet beneath the feeder, advises Gardeners’ World. When seed falls, it will land on the tarp, preventing it from touching the soil. To clean, fold up the tarp and pour the discarded seeds into the trash. Birdseed catchers, which attach to the base of the feeder, serve a similar purpose.

Things You Will Need

When wild birds dine at your feeder, they inevitably drop seeds on the soil below. Birdseed, usually a mixture of sunflower, safflower, corn and millet seeds, will germinate readily if not cleaned up after the birds finish their meal. Sprouting birdseed pops up like weeds anywhere it lands, including your flowerbed or vegetable garden. If you’re sick of the mess, you don’t need to take down your bird feeder just yet. By taking a few precautions at the feeder, you can stop seeds from sprouting where you don’t want them.

Tarp or birdseed catcher

Purchase high-quality seed that doesn’t contain too many fillers, including millet and flax seeds. Birds dislike these fillers, so they drop them on the ground to reach the better seeds. If you see small red seeds in a bag of feed, check the ingredient list. These might be millet, but they could also be sorghum or milo, two types of seeds that birds enjoy, reveals Wild Bird Watching.

Use a tray attachment under your feeder to keep seeds off the ground.

Buy only treated wild bird food mixtures. Many manufacturers are now baking their products to kill weed seeds, using guidelines established by the US Department of Agriculture. So read product labels carefully to make certain you select a treated brand.

October 29, 2008

Bird feed contributes to the spread of aggressive weeds.

The 10 noxious weeds were buffalobur, bull thistle, Canada thistle, common ragweed, dodder, field bindweed, jointed goatgrass, kochia, puncturevine , and velvetleaf (a relatively new weed in Oregon that was found mostly growing under bird feeders).

Not all of them grew, but plenty did. When they studied the weed seeds that fell to the ground beneath bird feeders, Dr. Jed Colquhoun and the other researchers found that “30 weed species sprouted in just 28 days. Between three and 17 weed species grew from each of the 10 brands of feed tested.”

Select foods that won’t sprout, such as sunflower hearts, peanuts, peanut butter, raisins, mealworms, and plain suet cakes.