Growing Sunflowers For Backyard Birds

Attract more birds to your backyard garden with sunflowers.

Choosing the Best Variety
You will find many varieties of sunflowers offered for sale in today’s market, but not all of them are suitable sources of food for birds. When selecting sunflowers for your feathered friends, make sure to choose the ones that produce an abundant supply of seeds. Some of our top picks include Titan Sunflower, Mammoth Grey Stripe, and Peredovik Black Oil Sunflower.

Helpful Growing Tips
Sunflowers are really one of the easiest flowers to grow, but they do require well-drained soil and at least six hours of sun light per day. Sunflowers are heavy feeders so they benefit from organic matter or composted (aged) manure, it is also best to keep the area under sunflowers mulched for better results. It’s best to sow sunflower seeds directly into the soil after the danger of spring frost is past. For longer harvest time, stagger your planting, early spring to midsummer. This way, you can attract birds for months. You also want to give your sunflower plants plenty of room, especially the low-growing varieties that branch out.

Tips on Harvesting
Generally, when the head turns brown on the back, seeds are usually ready for harvest. Gather up all your sunflower heads, and place them somewhere to let them dry out. You can then hang them out by your feeders, extending the sunflower season all the way into fall and winter, while giving your backyard birds a tasty treat.

Species of Birds
There are many common backyard birds that enjoy eating sunflower seeds. Here are just a few species you may attract by planting sunflowers.

Cardinals
Goldfinches
Sparrows
Chickadees
House finches
Titmice
Dove
Grosbeaks
Nuthatches
Woodpeckers

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