(Today's post is written by Susan Florian, who has joined me in keeping the office running smoothly on Thursdays & Fridays. Please give her warm welcome when you get the chance- we are excited to have her around!)
We have bird feeders stationed outside our office windows and we never know who might show up during the day to provide us with a
delightful distraction. Finches, chickadees, cardinals, nuthatches, juncos, song sparrows, turkeys and other species are all regular visitors.
If you feed birds to attract them to your yard, seed that isn’t cleaned up by the birds or other wildlife during warm weather may sprout, resulting in volunteer plants growing under your feeder. Unfortunately, some of these plants may be invasive weed species. Weed seeds have been identified in samples from several commercial wild bird feeds.
To avoid this problem, purchase seed mixes that have been baked, or select alternative bird favorites like raisins, peanut butter, suet and sunflower heads.
If you can’t find baked seed, or prefer to bake your own, here are a couple of different ways to stop seeds from germinating.
Using an Oven:
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Spread the birdseed in a single layer
on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes and let it cool completely before using.
Using a Microwave:
Spread bird sheet on a microwaveable platter or pie plate and place in your microwave.
Make sure your microwave is set on “high,” and heat for two minutes. Allow the seed to cool completely before filling your bird feeder.
Baking the seed doesn’t change its nutritional value. It simply sterilizes it and prevents germination…and unwanted weeds.
I spend a lot of time at my desk. A LOT. Most of the time I'm working on proposals, invoices, payroll, accounting, etc. You know, the boring responsible stuff that keeps a company afloat.
When I'm not working, I have a tendency to stare out my windows at all that nature out there. And I wonder about it.
When do the hummingbirds come back?
What do cardinal nests look like?
Was that really a badger?!
What is that poor robin eating?
Then I remember- I have Google!-and I wonder no more. This morning I found an amazing resource for the nature lover in you:
Journey North: Migration Maps
This is a place to record and track just where those robins, hummingbirds, earthworms, whooping cranes are hanging out.
There's even a map for Maple Sap flow and Ice Out!
Anna and her husband Todd own Arcadia Gardens, LLC a Stevensville, MI based landscape design and build company. Her degree in Horticulture with a focus on landscape management from Michigan State University allows Anna to select plants specific to on-site conditions and with maintenance requirements that suit the client's needs. She is comfortable designing across a range of styles- from contemporary to classic- and makes a point to include the client's input throughout the design process. She is an active member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and is serving as 2014 President of the APLD-Michigan Chapter. Anna has recently contributed to media such as "The Designer" and Gardendesign.com and is qualified to speak on a variety of topics from landscape design and maintenance to addressing local garden clubs and organizations.
PO Box 88
Stevensville, MI 49127