How to Compost Sunflower Seeds
Composting is the backyard process by which a gardener decomposes organic waste such as kitchen scraps and garden trimming. The resulting dark, crumbly material is used as a fertilizer and soil amendment to help plants grow. Sunflower seeds and seed hulls, whether it's from a backyard bird feeder or your favorite snack or recipe, can be recycled into your compost to help boost the health of your garden plot.
Collect the sunflower seeds and seed hulls. If you are recycling seeds from a backyard bird feeder, wear gloves to protect yourself from bird waste. Collect the seeds from the ground using a garden rake.
Rinse the sunflower seeds if the seeds and hulls are from salted sunflower seeds, such as the type often sold for human consumption and snacking. Pour the seeds into a kitchen strainer and place under running water for a few seconds.
Pour the sunflower seeds and hulls onto your compost pile or into your compost bin. Layer the seeds with other vegetable waste, or simply let it lie on the top of the current composting material.
Continue composting as you traditionally would, adding dry and wet organic waste in layers.
Turn over the compost if the sunflower seeds begin sprouting. If you use a static compost pile or bin, use a spade to flip over the sprouting layer of seeds. If using a rotating compost bin, spin the bin to mix the contents.
Check If Sunflower Seeds Are Viable
Stack three paper towels on top of each other. Set 20 sunflower seeds on top the wet paper towels. Cover the seeds with a triple layer of moistened paper towels, sandwiching the seeds in between. Set it in a warm 70-degree-Fahrenheit location. Check the towels daily and mist them with water if they begin to dry. If few seeds have sprouted, wait for up to seven more days, for a total of two weeks. Count the seeds that sprouted.
- Sunflower seeds and shells
- Kitchen strainer
- Compost pile or compost bin