I really enjoy feeding the birds in my garden but does anyone know a way of stopping spilt seeds from germinating everywhere? I wish seeds I sow would do as well!
I feed our birds sunflower hearts - the've been hulled so they don't make a mess and the birds dont discard it while searching for tastier morsels, which is what appears to happen with mixed seed.
Not sure you can stop most bird seed from germinating Sue, a possibility would be a physical barrier on top of the soil but not sure that's possible for you. I have read somewhere that you can sterilise it by using a microwave or cooking it in a standard oven. You can buy birdseed that has been treated to not germinate but not sure how much it costs.
Often if you buy poor quality mixed seed - I found an Aldi variety was a false economy - the birds waste a lot because they won't eat some of the grain.
So, feed good quality seeds, geared to the kinds of birds you have and feed less of it.
Be very careful with seed which overflows the table. Excess seed can encourage rats and other vermin. It happened to me and it was difficult to remedy. The only solution I managed to come up with was to only place small amounts on tables, which could be added to as it was eaten. Or use a purpose made seed dispenser, which the birds quickly became vey adept at using.
This sort doesn't germinate http://www.ukgardenproducts.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=288
I use sunflower hearts and they're still messy, the Goldfinch and Tits who eat it seem to drop as much as they eat and it's very expensive to buy. It's worth it 'tho to see them so many times during the day.
My problem is that the seeds they drop seem to go mouldy quite quickly on the ground. I've tried putting down something so I can just lift the lot and bin them but because of the position it's too difficult. Any suggestions?
Buy yourself a seed feeder with a tray fixed to the underneath. When I used one of these I went from refilling the feeder every 2 days to only needing to fill it every 4 days, as any spilt seed remained in the tray.
But then comes the next problem. The trays usually have drainage holes, which can become blocked with seed or bird droppings. Spilt seen in the tray then goes mouldy. Catch 22 really.
I dont tend to use the trays now, instead I feed sunflower hearts which I find are less messy. Dunnocks and wood pigeons clear up any spilt seed before it hits the ground!
Like this one..
Have you tried some of the feeders with cages around them - they don't keep the very small squirrels away, but the more the small ones eat the bigger they'll grow!
If you microwave bird seed it stops it germinating. I have a 750ml pot that I use to dole out bird seed each day and if I microwave it for 90seconds, that seems to stop seed germination without reducing food value for the birds.