We have bird feeders we use throughout the winter and fill them with sunflower seeds for the birds. This year we planted a sunflower garden to grow our own seeds.
The first picture is the patch 2 weeks ago in full bloom. The other 2 pictures are when we planted the garden in June and 3 weeks after the first planting.
We shared this patch with our pumpkins.
As you can see this worked very well. The pumpkin picture is just one row and we have 8 rows with pumpkins.
The beautiful sunflowers are now turning to seed so tonight we took the time to cut all of the heads off to use to feed the birds throughout the winter. Some of the heads are loaded with seeds while others have already been worked on by the birds.
In the end we have 2 very large bags filled with flower heads and seeds.
We will hang these from trees throughout the winter for the birds to pick at. They will also be used as a treat for the chickens.
You can see how they enjoy picking at it once it’s hung in their run!
This is something we have also done for the past few years. It is such an easy step towards feed independence. Sunflowers are wonderfully easy to grow, beautiful, valuable nectar sources, and provide such rich food for wild and domestic birds. They also are very easy on the soil, possibly even a net gain for fertility, and the stalks can be used as kindling. This is one of those plants that I would recommend to every gardener, homesteader, and farmer as a must grow.
I totally agree!! Tina
They look great! We had a huge problem with wire worms this year in the seeds, so we’re just letting the birds eat them all. Although I will definitely be growing some next year since the chickens will be coming in the spring! They will love it!
I grew sunflowers this year also – but they were stolen by a squirrel or two! So much for a new granola bar recipe I wanted to try. 😦 Oh well. I will try again next year, but have learned my lesson and will grow them inside a wire fence with a wire ceiling!