How to Keep Birds from Eating Grass Seed?
Birds can be a pain when you are sowing grass seeds. Grass seeds can be a good source of food for several species of birds that are always hungry and on the lookout for food. The birds can also take a dirt bath in the soil that you raked.
Since sowing the grass seeds can be a daunting task, both for smaller raised gardens and bigger lawns, you should know tricks like how to stop birds from eating grass seed, how to get rid of spider mites while flowering or how to keep weed from taking the best of your fertilized soil and so on. There are several easy methods that can be employed to protect the seeds from the birds.
Effective Ways to Protect Grass Seed from Birds
1. Bury Grass in the Ground
Birds being visual animals can get attracted to any visible food particles in the lawn like the seeds, from the top. While sowing the seeds, you can rake them so they are buried and thereby covered by the soil surface. This would need an extra step if you’re using drop or broadcast spreaders for sowing seeds. You can add a small amount of water to the soil to make it thick and then stick to the soil.
This while helping with germinating the seeds also prevents the loose soil surface thereby making it difficult for the birds to push the soil around and reach to the grass seeds.
2. Protect Grass Seed with Netting
Creating a physical barrier between the bird and the grass seeds can prevent the birds from reaching the seeds easily. Netting can be an effective way to do this. Netting while not being thick offers an additional advantage as a lawn cover as it lets the sunlight penetrate it and reach the soil surface.
Ensure that it is tightly fitted and pinned at the edges, such that it fully covers the seedbed. Wooden stakes can be used to prop up the netting so it remains a few inches above the ground. This makes sure that the birds don’t reach the ground to pick up the grass seeds. The repellant nettings can also be very-lightweight and are not prone to mould or mildew.
Netting to protect grass seed from birds will not be an effective option in lawns where there are tall trees. A good quality net made from nylon material is durable and weather resistant and will also be effective in preventing the birds from reaching the ground to pick up the seeds. You just need to prop up the net a bit, to stop birds from pecking.
3. Use Scarecrows or Fake Predators
Using fake predators or scarecrows is a good option to deter the birds. It has been used by the farmers for a long time and has worked out pretty well for quite a long time. Since birds get scared easily there are many visual deterrents that can be employed to scare the birds from the areas containing the grass seeds.
Scarecrows and fake predators can then prevent the birds from landing in your yards without much hassle. You can use a decoy owl or hawk or a straw scarecrow. They are cheap and also do not require much maintenance. The potential downside with the scarecrows can be that they do not remain effective for a long time, since the birds notice that it’s not actually harmful and hence start ignoring it.
4. Cover Grass Seed With Burlap Sheets
Covering the law can offer two-fold benefits like hiding the grains from the birds and making it harder for them to grab the seeds. Burlap sheets can conveniently be used for this. Burlap will also be a good option since it will let the water, moisture and sunlight reach the ground while also acting as a physical and visual barrier.
Burlap sheets are also a good alternative to straw mulch, since they can be used in windy situations. Birds are also not able to look at the seeds or peck at them through the burlap. They will also be able to provide proper germinating conditions. The edges of the sheets will need to be anchored by way of u-pins.
5. Lay Down Mulch Over Your Lawn
One of the most effective ways of stopping the birds could be by laying a thin layer of straw over the freshly laden seeds. Mulching helps in retaining the moisture and is also effective in preventing the growth of weeds. These factors assist the grass seeds in growing and germinating.
In colder temperatures, mulching maintains the ground-level temperatures which helps the seeds in their growth. Be sure to choose only that straw mulch which has been certified to be weed free. It should then be used to cover at least 75 percent seeds. Remove the straw when the grass seeds start germinating since the sprouts need sunlight to grow.
6. Sow Some Bird Repellent
Bird repellent is a foul tasting substance that is sprayed onto the grass seeds and when the birds taste it, they remain far away from it. Birds may however over time, overcome resistance to the repellents but it will still reduce the amount of seed taken.
These repellents may be found in garden and home improvement stores. They taste so bad that they can effectively prevent the birds from ruining your lawn.
7. Hang Up Visual Deterrents
Visual deterrents can be the easiest way to scare the birds since they can be accessed easily and are simple to use. Visual reflective deterrents like CDs or DVDs can be employed. These reflective surfaces scare the birds as they are used for shining in the eyes of the birds. These can confuse the birds and prevent them from adapting to their surrounding environment. Pinwheels can be good scaring words since they reflect light and make noise, both of which keeps the birds away.
The CDs and DVDs can be tied onto a string and then hung some 2 feet apart. If not the CDs then a hanging bird reflector tape can also be used. These are cheap and can effectively scare away the birds. Other things which can be used for this purpose are small windmills and brightly coloured flags. These deterrents can be anything from emulating the predators, incorporating reflective surfaces, movement or any visible colours.
8. Hang Up Noise Making Deterrents
Birds prefer quiet, peaceful places and can be kept away using noisy devices. Noise spooks them and makes them fly away. You can take advantage of this fact and use noisy devices as often as possible. There are wooden ducks which move their wings with the wind. Some of the birds can also make a noise separately. Wind chimes make a beautiful sound when they encounter the wind and can also be hung easily where the grass seeds are.
Aluminium pans with tin cans tied to the posts can be used, they will make a banging sound with the wind. An ultrasonic bird repeller will also be an effective choice as they produce a high frequency sound which can get rid of the words without adversely affecting them.
9. Plant Extra Seeds
None of the strategies used can keep the birds away for a long period of time. There is always a chance that the seeds will still be eaten by the words, be blown away with the wind, or may simply rot before germinating.
To prevent a patchy growth of grass in your yard, you need to plant extra grass seeds. This will compensate for any loss of grass seeds for whatever reason. Adding about 25-30 percent of extra grass seeds is usually sufficient. Next time, you either manually sow your grass seeds or use broadcast spreaders, throw in a little extra to compensate for the potential loss to birds. It creates an ideal balance by giving us fully grown grass, without overcrowding it.
Birds love grass seeds. Hence it can be difficult to keep them off it. The best way you can do this is by laying something on top of the grass seeds till they germinate. Once it germinates, the sprouts will still be delicate, so you can use some decoy methods to stop the birds from visiting the lawn often.
Knowing how to keep birds off of a seeded lawn is useful in getting a healthy looking lawn. There is not a single process that can be completely effective in keeping the brs away. There is an assimilation of strategies that can be employed to ensure that the lawn remains plush and green. What strategy would be the best for a particular lawn will depend solely on your circumstances.