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Birds Eating Sunflower Seeds Before They Sprout

Twice now I planted sunflower seeds and twice the birds have eaten the seeds before they've had a chance to sprout. I even sprinkled red pepper down where I planted them and still, the birds ate them. I don't mind if they eat the sunflowers once they've had a chance to grow and bloom, but it would be nice if they had a chance to grow and bloom first. Any suggestions for next year?

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By Kathy from Sylvania, OH

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July 25, 20111 found this helpful

Start them in plastic cups or containers first inside next 2 a window or in cups out side where the birds cant get to them when they're about 4 or 5 inches transplant them. They will eat very first signs of growth also. I had this same problem yrs back this is the best way. But buy a good potting mix 2 start them in.

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July 26, 20111 found this helpful

Put some stakes around the seeds and weave white blinking Christmas lights through them. I did that to keep both the birds and rabbits from eating my sunflower seeds and young plants. I ended up with beautiful tall sunflowers! It also works to keep deer from eating plants.

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July 26, 20111 found this helpful

If you don't want to start the seeds early in containers, you can cover the seeded area with shade cloth, or an old sheer curtain would work. Keep an eye on them and remove the cover once they begin to sprout.

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August 1, 20111 found this helpful

Row covers would work to let the plants get taller enough - wire coat hangars bent into a "U" shape, with old sheets, or muslin, or cheesecloth, to protect the plantlets from those big bad birdies...

Chicken wire unrolled and bent into "U" shape could do the same thing.

Good luck!

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