Canary seed (Phalaris canariensis) is a popular feed for caged and wild birds. Commercial canary seed production became widespread throughout parts of Minnesota and South Dakota after World War II, according to the Government of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. An annual grass, canary seed takes 105 to 110 days to reach maturity after planting. Canary seed grows well wherever wheat flourishes but is not as drought tolerant. It can easily tolerate heavy, clay-based soils.
Till the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches. Remove all weed growth.
Sow canary seed when the soil temperature reaches 46 degrees Fahrenheit. This usually occurs in May.
Water the seedbed thoroughly. Canary seeds are exceptionally small so seeding into a moist seedbed will help the tiny seeds to germinate.
Use 27 to 35 pounds of canary seed per acre when seeding. Plant seeds at a depth of 2 inches using a seed broadcaster or a grain drill. Space the seed rows 7 inches apart. Roll the seeds into the soil.
Watch for aphids on the young canary seeds after germination occurs. If aphids are present, use an approved aphid control insecticide, such as Malathion, to treat. Apply the insecticide in mid to late July for best control.