Sunflower seeds as mulch


I have been feeding the birds & squirrels sunflower seeds throughout the spring & summer. Consequently, I have accumulated a lot of seed shells ! I am about to plant my bulbs for the spring. Should I turn the seed shells into the soil as added compost ? Also, once I have planted the bulbs, should I cover the beds with the fallen leaves from our maple tree ? Thanks for your advice !


Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

I would not put the seed shells into the soil where you are planting bulbs. This will only encourage squirrels to dig in search of supper.

I suggest you start a compost pile where you can put your nut shells, leaves, as well as garden waste, grass clippings and kitchen scrap. This will produce lovely compost that you can use to enrich your garden soil.

Check out these links for details on how to compost.

Water your bulbs after planting, and cover them with several centimeters high of your maple leaves to protect them, and hide them from the squirrels.