Sunflower Head Bird Feeders
Do you grow sunflowers? I don’t have a designated spot to grow them; however they do grow in my yard. The birds plant them!
They Just Pop Up:
As the birds are eating bird feeder seed out of one of my hanging feeders, some of the seed drops below the feeder. Throughout the growing season, sunflowers magically pop up. I leave them grow under the feeder.
A few years ago I decided since the seeds grow naturally under the sunflower seed feeder in my yard, to just allow them to continue growing. Sunflowers are fairly hearty plants and I don’t have to do anything for them to grow.
Drying the Seed Heads:
There are two ways I dry the seed heads. This year I completed drying method #1. Today, I harvested the sunflowers and completed the task of putting the seed heads away and also hung my first seed head of the season.
1.) Let Them Dry Naturally
Toward the end of the growing season, as the flowers develop seeds, I place cheese cloth over the entire seed head of each plant. This allows light to pass through to the plant and keeps the birds from eating the seed. When the heads are dry, I cut them off and then place them in a plastic bin in my garage.
If you don’t place them in a closed top bin mice and squirrels will find them and you will have a huge mess. 🙁
2.) Hang Them From the Rafters
The second method requires you to cut the seed heads off of the plant. Leave a long stalk to bundle several heads together with thick rubber bands and then hang them from the rafters with twine or from nails in your garage. When they are dry, place them in a covered container.
Hanging the Seed Heads:
I made a long dowel wire from a wire coat hanger. I punch a hole near the top of the seed head and string a piece of plastic coated twine (we call it baler twine here) through the seedhead.
I use the plastic coated twine because it allows the seedhead to naturally swing in the wind without cutting into the seed head, or the tree it is tied too. As an added bonus it is strong and waterproof.
Now, I have sunflower head bird feeders hanging around my yard starting in late fall and into the long, long, winter.