Did you know that you can grow your own bird food? For all bird lovers out there, this is a convenient way to attract more birds with less work. Growing birdseed is actually quite easy to do and there are tons of varieties to choose. Here are some top choices to consider:

Cuminum Cyminum (Cumin)

cumin

This plant grows 12-20 inches tall and is a drought tolerant crop. They grow for only 100-120 days and do best in dry and moderately cool climate. The history of Cumin dates back to ancient times. They have not only been found in several ancient egyptian archaeological sites, but were also mentioned in the bible.

The seeds found on the plant are contained within a fruit. In addition to their many uses as spices or medicinal purposes, it is also used in many birdseed mixes. This type of seed is best to blend with other bird food, and can attract many types of birds. Purchase Cumin seeds here. 

Cumin Seeds

Salvia Hispanica (Chia)

Chia Flower

Chia is part of the mint family and is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. Growing cycles typically last between 100-150 days. They are easy to grow and do well in all climates.

This annual herb can grow up to 5.7 feet tall and produce small oval seeds, which are high in omega-3. Chia seeds are extremely nutritious and also are a good source of B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus. They are commonly added as toppings to things like yogurt, bread, cereal, and granola bars. They have a nutlike flavor and can also be eaten alone as a snack.

Chia seeds also have many health benefits for birds, such as improving feathering and providing vitamins and minerals to strengthen their bones. Purchase Chia seed here. 

Chia Seed

Peredovik Sunflower

Black Oil Sunflower

Sunflower seeds are one of the most popular seeds for bird feed mixes. The Peredovik Sunflower can grow 4-5 feet tall and takes roughly 100 days to mature after planting. The seeds are high in oil content and have a smaller size with more taste, so they are popular with doves and quail. The thinner shells also make them easier and more attractive to smaller birds as well. They are extremely nutritious and contain fiber, protein, calcium, B vitamins, iron, Vitamin E, and potassium. 

Sunflower Seeds

Guizotia Abyssinica (EarlyBird Niger Seed)

Niger Flower

Niger is an annual plant that can produce seeds as early as 50 days after planting. It will attract honeybees as well as goldfinches who absolutely love this seed (which is technically a fruit called achene).

In 1982, the USDA required all imported Niger seeds to be heat sterilized to kill the contaminant dodder seed. This requirement was then revised in 2001 specifying a heat treatment at 248º F for 15 minutes. This is a relatively rare seed to grow, in which you will be rewarded with flocks of finches. Purchase Niger seeds here. 

Niger Seed

Rudbeckia Hirta (Black-eyed-susan)

Black-eyed-susan

The rudbeckia hirta is native to North America and is actually the state flower of Maryland. It can grow 12-30 inches tall and is typically seen with yellow ray florets, although extensive breeding has lead to orange, red, and brown color variations. It attracts butterflies and finches. Purchase Rudbeckia Hirta seeds here.

Rudbeckia Hirta

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