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Everything you need to know about garden bird seed

November 20, 2015
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Wild bird seed is an extremely popular type of food for garden birds; in fact, one of the most popular, which is reflected in the choice and diversity of straight and mixes available to buy. In fact, birds love to eat seeds so much it’s almost a singular staple diet.

So what kinds of seeds can you buy to help your garden birds in the garden? Here, we outline some of the most common forms of seed available on the market.

Sunflower seeds/Black sunflower seeds

...between £12 - £18 for a 12.5kg bag


Sunflower seeds are available in three varieties for feeding birds: striped/black, black and sunflower hearts.

Both striped-black and straightforward black sunflower seeds are high in nutritional content, but black-only sunflower seeds contains a higher percentage of energy content. In fact, it is this type of sunflower seed that is used for producing oil. They are eaten by many birds, buy mainly tits, woodpeckers, nuthatches and finches.

Some birds don’t take well to ‘husked’ sunflower seeds, and therefore it’s possible to buy sunflower hearts (or ‘kernels’) instead: kernels contain approximately 50% fat, 23% protein, 3% sugars and 19% carbohydrate. Robins in particular like to eat the sunflower hearts.
Premium Sunflower hearts

Premium sunflower hearts

No waste/no grow/no husk

...around £19.99 per 12.55kg bag


Many seed mixes contain seeds with husks, which have a greater tendency to germinate and sprout than non-husk or cracked versions.

This specially formulated blend of husk-free seeds is perfect to stop unwanted growth in your garden, especially since birds can sometimes make a bit of a mess, leading to a potentially hefty amount of greenery under your bird feeders.
No waste, no grow seed mix

No waste, no grow seed mix

No wheat bird seed mix

...around £19.99 per 12.55kg bag


The no wheat variety of seed mix is a particular popular choice among many people since it focusses mainly on smaller species of birds such as blue tits, bullfinches, chaffinches and greenfinches.

The lack of wheat content means there will be fewer pigeons and doves hanging around your garden stealing the smaller birds’ food.
Premium Sunflower hearts

No wheat seed mix
There are number of bird seed mixes available to buy that include a combination of different (husked/dehusked) ingredients. For that ideal nutritional blend of seeds, Garden Wildlife Direct have put together some unique mixes such as the All Year Round, which contains a combination of quality grains and seeds, and a very popular Honey Syrup Seed Mix, which contains real honey.
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1 comment

  1. I ordered Norfolk Island Pine seeds from a cnoapmy regularly seen on the web. I received in the packet, not seeds but pieces of vegetation sort of fan-shaped with no instructions as to handle these vs regular seeds so I handled them the way I would seeds and potted them in peat pots with spagnum as the medium. Only one has germinated so far. I did email the cnoapmy asking about the above and got no answer which will eliminate me from buying anything again from them. Howeve it is fun just to experiment with seeds. I recently found a person in my town (Greenville, SC) who deals in bonsai trees and he showed me a zip bag with moist soil and seeds which he had kept in the refrigerator for several months and it appeared that every single seed had germinated.This person has an array of items which I have purchased a few of as needed and has been very helpful.Also, I had used a Jiffy Pot tray with a heating pad which came with it, not costly and very efficient so I put some of the seeds I had ordered from brand X cnoapmy and which had not germinated in a bag with damp spagnum and am awaiting the results.The cnoapmy I purchased the seeds from made no mention of cold stratification, an interesting procedure, but helpful, if not necessary, in getting seeds to germinate.I guess the moral is to take care who we deal wih when buying anything and ask questions before ordering by phone or email.If there is no contact info my advice is not to buy from them.