Monday, August 29, 2011

Grow Birdseed in your Garden

If you put birdseed out for your neighborhood birds you know what happens as they make a feast of your offerings.   Without a doubt seed will fall to the ground and take root in the soil below.   After a few weeks if conditions are right, you will have stalks growing and a little patch of birdseed happening.

We have Greta and Ruby, our two chickens who scurry out each morning and several times during the day to scratch around and eat the dropped seed.

This year I actually took a handful of the seed and planted it in the garden and it's doing fantastic.
I did have concern about the birdseed patch since I caught the chickens in that area a few times dining on the planted seed and had to chase them away.   I was successful and now my little patch of birdseed is flourishing.   I had the same trouble with the chickens just last week when I planted the buckwheat in the area behind the barn where I plant to grow the garlic for next season.   I do see a few sprouts emerging and I have to keep up on the watering at this point.   I actually discovered the benefits of buckwheat quite by accident one year.   We had caged doves a few years back and they would make a mess when eating and toss the seed all over the floor.   Some landed nearby in potted plants and took root.   I researched and found the mystery plants to be buckwheat and reading further learned it is an excellent cover crop supplying nutrients to enrich your garden soil.

Each year I grew more buckwheat from saved seed and had a good supply to plant this year.   Before the buckwheat goes to seed, I will turn the plants into the soil and let it do its buckwheat magic....that's if I can keep Greta and Ruby keep from eating it all!

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