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GracieAllen

How do I keep seed from germinating?

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GracieAllen    1

This goes with my problem with the nuisance birds.....  In addition to keeping the other birds away and eating a lot, they throw see around.

One of the feeders is right about the flower bed and the other is in the yard...

We may NOT be having great luck growing FLOWERS, but BOY do those sunflower seeds sprout!  Flower bed is CLOGGED with seedlings.  Same problem with the other seed, which is some kind of mix for the finches and other birds...  Growing GREAT in the grass.......

SO, what do I do to the seed to sterilize it or do whatever so it WON'T grow 'cause I'm catching a LOT of flak from the domestic associate for the bunch of seedlings?

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Chaseman    1578

The easiest answer is to switch to a "no mess" or "patio" blend.  All of the seeds in these blends have basically had their shells removed.  It's more expensive, but sounds like it would be worth your while.  Keep in mind that if that many are sprouting, you are wasting money anyway because the birds aren't eating the seeds.  

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GracieAllen    1

Yeah, the hordes of blackbirds, starlings and so on are throwing seeds all over instead of eating them...  Thus my other topic trying to find out how to avoid those nuisance birds. 

What does removing the shells do to cause the seeds not to germinate?

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Chaseman    1578

The seeds won't, can't, germinate if they don't have a shell around them.

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GracieAllen    1

I'm confused...  Thanks for the information about needing the shell to germinate.......

Online, I've found a bunch of discussions that say do NOT mix seeds because different birds that want different things will throw all of whatever isn't what they want on the ground.  SO, if the birds want sunflower seeds and they hit millet or milo or whatever else is in the mix, they'll throw it out of the feeder to get to the sunflower seeds?

If so, how does the "patio mix" work?  I bought some yesterday to go in the new feeders - they have cages to, hopefully, keep the starlings, grackles and blackbirds out, but they're a bunch of small seeds with some sunflower chips.  Aren't there a bunch of birds that want oily sunflower seeds?  And are they gonna make a mess of the incredibly expensive "patio mix" to get at them?

I also got a thistle feeder and nijer thistle, so hopefully that'll make some of the small birds happy and according to the packaging THEY WON'T GERMINATE!

BUT, I couldn't find ANY packages that just contained hulled sunflowers or sunflower chips.  They were in with the patio mix I bought.  I have visions of all sorts of small seeds setting thrown around by birds that want to get to the sunflower seeds.........

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Chaseman    1578

First off, don't buy any mix that says it contains milo.  That's just a filler no one is going to eat.  That will definitely get tossed on the ground.  If you have any kind of a bird store near you, they will definitely sell hulled sunflower.  We can even buy it here in our grocery stores.  I make my own seed mixes, based on what feeder they are going in, and what birds I know prefer those feeders.  I have 6 seed feeders, 5 suet feeders, 6 mealworm feeders, 2 millet feeders (on the ground) and a feeder for peanuts in the shell.  I don't feed any thistle, because no one around here wants to eat it.  The Goldfinches prefer the hulled sunflower.  Trial and error will be your best guide.  Try different seeds in different feeders and see who you are attracting and compare it to who you want to attract.  It's not easy, but it is fun!

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Chaseman is right - stay away from Milo.. When you say milo, think of the end portion of the word "lo" and think "low quality" - you don't want milo because it's a cheap filler and birds usually skip it, especially if they have better options.

Millet is fine. Milo is bad.

Find a your local feed mill. That's where I buy 90% of my bird seed. It's much cheaper than the big box stores and for me, I'm helping support a small local business. If you're serious about feeding the birds then you need to buy in bulk (50 pound bags) - you'll save money in the long run.

You originally asked "How do I keep seed from germinating?" - You can freeze it. When I buy 50 pound bags of black oil sunflower seed (BOSS) then I put the extra portion in the freezer. The freezer stops the seed from germinating. But if you decide to buy hulled/sunflower hearts without the shell, then you don't have to worry about this.

I only buy sunflower hearts in the winter. I figure in the warmer months the birds can crack the shell.

My favorite mix is 85% BOSS, 10% peanuts, 5% millet. I also have thistle and suet out.

Good luck and let us know how it goes :)

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Ditto on avoiding milo.  I use mostly black oil sunflower seed, still in the shell, and NONE of it germinates.  That's because the birds at the feeders eat it instead of throwing it out of the way, so very little hits the ground.  What does fall is eaten quickly by the ground feeders (sparrows, finches, juncos, doves, etc) or the 'tree rats'.

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