All weeds are annoying, but some packages of birdseed have been identified as having numerous varieties of invasive weed seeds. When these seeds are scattered from a feeder and spread in the yard, they can quickly become a maintenance nightmare. To avoid purchasing bird seed containing noxious weeds, read the label or contact the seed manufacturer and find out what was done to ensure the contents are not invasive weed seeds. Birdseed that contains a lot of filler seed such as red millet may result in more weed growth because birds do not tend to like this type of seed. Instead of eating the filler, they push it aside and cause more to drop to the ground as they search for the seed they desire. Know what types of birdseed you are buying in a mix and if it is desirable to the birds you intend to attract.
Keep in mind that the birdseed won’t grow weeds in your yard if it doesn’t reach the ground. Putting a tray under your bird feeder to catch overflowing seeds can prevent the problem of weed growth. Although birds may be messy eaters, squirrels are sometimes a bigger problem. If you notice squirrels scattering seeds in your yard, consider another type of feeder that will prevent the squirrels from accessing the seeds.
Types of Bird Food
If you’re inviting flocks of birds to visit your yard by enticing them with birdseed, you may also be inviting weeds. When seed falls from the feeder to the ground there is potential for germination. This is not a problem with all types of bird food. By being a conscientious shopper you can enjoy the birds while avoiding additional weed growth.
When seeds are baked, they lose the ability to germinate. Some birdseed manufacturers sell baked birdseed. This type of seed will not cause weeds to grow in your yard but will still attract birds. Other types of bird food, such as sunflowers hearts, peanut butter, raisins, mealworm and suet cakes, will not sprout if scattered about your yard by messy eaters.
Weeds are going to be an issue in any garden. Regularly monitoring your yard will give you an idea of what maintenance needs to be done. By doing this you can see where weeds are popping up and remove them before they flower and spread to other areas of the yard. They are also much easier to remove when they are small.
Secondly, does thistle bird seed cause weeds? Niger seed used to be called thistle, but it is not the noxious thistle weed we see growing on roadsides. It typically will not germinate under your feeders since the USDA requires that all niger seed imported to this country be heat-treated to sterilize the seed.
Plant that bird seed, it contains millet (the small roundish white/tan seeds), sorghum (the red flattened sphere seeds) and oil sunflower seeds, (if there are any smooth very light colored seeds in it that would be canola seed) all are non-gmo products so no worries about that.
Then, what kind of plants grow from bird seed?
Can bird seeds grow into plants?
There are several simple strategies to consider to avoid having your bird feeder become a weed seeder, the WSSA says: Use a tray attachment under your feeder to keep seeds off the ground. Select foods that won’t sprout, such as sunflower hearts, peanuts, peanut butter, raisins, mealworms, and plain suet cakes.