image of a male and female cardinal in the snow

Go Ahead…It’s Fine To Feed The Birds!

A recent post concerning snow and lawn impact prompted at least one Ever-Green customer to ask about volunteer broadleaf weeds that often appear in the spring as a result of feeding the birds during those snowbound weeks of winter, as we’re presently experiencing.

“I really enjoy feeding the birds,” she stated.  “But I had never thought about uneaten seeds becoming spring weeds come April and May.  How likely is that?”

Well, it’s as likely as nature itself.  Sunflowers are no different than any other seed…thistle seeds, for that matter.  The likelyhood is about 70%, the average germination rate of any seed that grows.

Seeds that escape hungry birds in the winter often sprout and grow come spring. But they’re easily controlled, usually by mowing.

But, the issue here is not one that typically causes a mess.  As we’ve stated before, most sunflower sprouts disappear with the first or second mowing come spring.  And thistles may not show up at all, given that they often lie in the ground for as much as five years before they germinate.  Thistle seeds have a very hard exterior.  Sunflowers and corn do not.

And in the event that you do have unwanted weeds under your feeder, weeds that don’t disappear with mowing, they’re easily controlled with a small application of any 2-4-D product sold in the hardware store.  Ortho, for instance.

But if you’re an Ever-Green customer, your first and second applications of the spring are sure to do the trick!

So rest easy, all of you that fancy cardinals, jays, chickadees and juncos.  Give them all they want.  Enjoy the show outside your window without worry about what might grow later.  As with spring dandelions or other broadleaves, whatever grows is easily manageable if you deal with it in a timely fashion.

Go ahead.  It’s fine to feed the birds!