Are birds eating away grass seeds in your garden?
While they are good to have around, they sometimes pose a nuisance. You will get a taste of their poor manners while trying to makeover your lawn by planting new grass seeds.
We have got you covered. This guide offers you tangible tips that will help stop birds from eating grass seed in your yard.
1. Cover Your Lawn
An easy way to prevent birds from eating your grass seeds would be to lay a physical barrier on your lawn. This prevents them from getting to the grass seeds.
A cover also hides the seeds from the birds, saving you the trouble of having to chase them away.
Let’s get down to some of the ways of doing this.
Mulching is a typical routine management practice gardeners use to retain moisture in their soils, maintain temperature levels and also suppress weeds for healthy plant growth.
But if you didn’t know, mulching has also got another use that you could quickly adapt. It’s an effective barrier against hungry birds that want to peck your grass seeds.
You could go for different mulching materials. For effective results, use straw mulch.
The mulch suppresses weeds effectively, keeping you worry-free.
Scatter layers of straw around the garden area where you have grown your seeds. Make sure to cover 75% of your soil.
Remove the mulch once the seeds start germinating.
Transparent Tarpaulin Sheets
If, by any chance, you are trying to grow your grass seeds during spring or fall, using a transparent tarpaulin sheet is your best option in keeping the birds off your grass seeds.
This also serves well, as water requirements for plants are usually moderate during this time.
Set the tarp on the ground and ensure it is tied with a wire. Lay a stone on top of the wires to prevent them from getting carried away by the wind.
The tarp’s transparency serves to allow light inside. The natural moisture is also preserved.
Transparent tarps work best in winter than during summer. The hot weather during summer leads to heat buildup inside the tarp and can be detrimental to grass seeds.
If your garden is located in a windy zone, mulch may not be the best choice. The wind quickly blows it away.
Luckily, burlap sheets will put your worries to rest. They cover up your grass seeds until germination.
They also do not disrupt the optimum growing conditions of the seeds.
Burlap allows moisture, heat, and sunlight to go through it, reaching the soil surface all while protecting the seeds from the pecking birds.
Anchor the edges of the sheets with u-shaped pins to maintain the cover in a particular place.
Ensure that the sheets are removed after germination.
2. Use Fake Predators
Fake predators have the same effect as the real ones. Have them around your garden, and your bird problem will be a thing of the past.
Birds get scared easily with scarecrows in the shape of owls, rubber snakes, and hawks. This triggers their natural threat perception, and they won’t dare step into your garden.
Rubber snakes do scare good when you place them in soil. For the owl or hawk decoys, put them on the fence or top of the post.
You can also keep scarecrows around as long as you need; however, they aren’t durable, and you may need to replace them periodically until your grass seeds are out of danger.
An additional tip when using decoys such as an owl is to change their position occasionally. Keeping them in one place for long will make the birds suspicious, and they will figure out the trick.
3. Use a Reflective Deterrent
There is quite a tonne of reflective deterrents you could go for when you intend to scare hungry birds away. Some include CDs, DVDs, and reflective tapes.
The reflective tapes make the birds uncomfortable by directing lights into their eyes, scaring them away. Keep these types hanging around your lawn year long.
You can also stick them on walls or poles. Reflective tapes work best during the day, making them effective since this is when the birds usually feed.
4. Keep Grass Seeds Buried in the Ground
Another cost-free way of keeping birds from consuming your grass seeds is to bury them inside the soil during planting.
Birds love to fork for anything edible on the ground. Raking topsoil on your grass seeds will cover them, preventing the birds from hanging around and consuming them.
To prevent erosion through wind, water the lawn after seeding to keep the soil firm.
Birds also find it challenging to get to the seeds through firm soil.
5. Use a Net Repellent
Seed netting is also handy in keeping the birds away. After covering them in soil, enclose the seeds with a dedicated bird net.
Installing the net in your garden is a simple process that involves staking the four corners of your garden.
Once the stakes are in place, hook the net and stretch it out to keep it above the ground. When your grass seeds germinate, remove the net protector.
Ensure that the net is weather-resistant and durable.
A net repellent also proves handy in areas affected by fast-blowing winds or where birds peck through the mulch.
6. Create Some Noise in your Garden
Birds love to feed in a quiet and peaceful environment. Any form of noise in your garden will be a turn-off for them.
There are many noise devices that you can use, such as pinwheels, wind chimes, and aluminum tin pans.
Noise from any of these will scare the birds as they are affected by almost all kinds of sound.
There are also commercial noise repellents you could purchase and use to achieve the same effect. These devices typically use ultrasonic sounds, which are inaudible to humans.
7. Plant Extra Seeds
Putting in the extra effort to protect your grass seeds is good but let’s face it, you will not save all of them.
The mannerless birds will consume your grains no matter your efforts. Also, you will lose some of them through rotting or strong winds blowing them away.
To cover for such losses, you want to grow some extra seeds say thirty percent more.
This also prevents irregular patches of grass from forming across your lawn.
8. Place a Bird Feeder in Your Lawn
Do you have a bird feeder for the birds on your lawn? Why not use it to distract the birds from eating your grass seeds.
It takes some effort for the birds to get to the grass seed in your lawn; therefore, luring them with easy meals could save you some losses.
However, this idea can backfire as it will invariably attract more birds to your lawn. The trick is to keep the bird feeder as far as possible from your lawn area where you have sown the grass seeds.
9. Take Advantage of Pets
If you have pets like cats and dogs, you could give them the assignment of chasing the birds away.
Their presence alone in your lawn is enough to give them jitters. Besides, your pets will also willingly do the job for the fun of it.
Birds are an essential part of the natural environment and the ecosystem, without any doubt. However, their presence is often undesired at times.
Using the tactics mentioned above, you can prevent your grass seeds from being eaten by birds before germination.