Are the Birds Giving You A Hard Time?
Many homeowners work very hard to grow an emerald green lawn in their front yard that is their neighbors' envy and owner's pride. Are you also one of them? If yes, then it must be frustrating for you to see the birds feed on the grass seeds. This is not only worrisome but also puts your effort and time to waste.
However, pick yourself up as you are not alone. Like you, I also went through the harrowing experience of seeing my hard work and my dream of a beautiful grass carpet being eaten up by birds.
Now don't get me wrong; I am not a bird hater. However, one cannot deny that birds love feasting on grass seeds and can clear a sowed lawn in a short duration of time. This problem got me to put on my thinking cap and also dive deep into finding easy ways on how to keep birds from eating grass seeds.
While researching, I came across many ways of preventing the birds from eating our painstakingly sowed grass seeds. I found that some owners sow 50% extra seeds to counter the seeds lost to hungry birds. If you are not a fan of this idea, let me tell you about 7 useful and easy ways of protecting your future lawn from a bird attack.
Materials Required to Keep the Birds at Bay
One cannot win a battle without the right tools. Therefore to execute your plan for keeping the birds away from your lawn, you will require some necessary tools. The list is as follows:
There are a few alternatives you can consider in place of mulch straw:
Seed starter mats- This a good substitute for mulch straw if you are, you are growing a lawn on a slope. The mats have a stronger form and will not get carried away by the wind, thereby keeping your seeds safe.
Peat moss- this easily decomposes into the soil and has no invasive seeds, unlike the mulch straw. The only deterrent is the high cost.
Burlap sheets- It is not ideal to use straw in places where there is a lot of wind as the seeds and soil can be easily blown away. However, burlap sheets can be used as it can be secured with pins. Please remember to remove the sheets once the seeds have germinated.
7 Ways of Protecting Your Lawn
1. Lay down mulch
If you thought that mulch helps in just maintaining the moisture content of the soil and blocking the growth of weeds, here is news for you. It can also be used to keep the birds away from the grass seeds. This is often the first resort people take as it is inexpensive and effective.
I would highly recommend the use of certified mulch as it ensures the absence of unwanted seeds, which often result in weeds
It is an effortless way of protecting the seeds as all you need to do is scatter a thin layer of mulch straw over it. You don't need to cover the entire area with straw. Covering 75% of the soil surface will do the trick. Use a rake to remove the straw after the seeds have germinated.
2. Use bird netting
This is a handy option to employ as it is easy to use and can be found in any gardening shop. Bird nets protect the grass seeds by preventing the birds from landing on the ground. Most good quality bird nets are made using nylon, making it weather resistant and durable.
The process of setting up a bird net is pretty much straight forward. Place a stake on each of the four corners of your lawn, hook the net to the stakes, and stretch the net. Ensure that the net is hooked a 2-3 inches above the ground. This height is just right as it prevents the birds from hopping under the net and eating the seeds while at the same time ensuring that the seeds receive adequate sunlight and air.
As an alternative to bird nets, you can also use germination blankets to cover the sowed area. It helps to retain moisture as well as take care of the seeds.
3. Install Decoy predators
Birds get scared easily and avoid being near any predator. We can use this to our advantage by placing decoy predators to scare them off. The time and tested scarecrow will work but may not look aesthetically pleasing when put in your lawn.
So you can opt for rubber snakes, wooden or plastic owls and hawks. Set them up in places where they can be easily seen by the birds, even when flying at a distance. Placing the owl on a higher location such as a tree or a pillar. Rubber snakes can be scattered randomly on the lawn.
While using these dummy predators, it is essential to keep moving them around the lawn every couple of days; if not, the birds figure out that they are harmless and begin to ignore it.
4. Make some noise
Another scare tactic you can use to keep the birds away from the grass seeds is to put a device that creates sudden and loud sound. While selecting a noise deterrent, do consider your neighbors as loud sounds can cause inconvenience to them.
You don't need any hi-tech devices for this. The soothing sound of a simple wind chime is enough to scare them away. Hang them on a tree branch or your patio.
You can also string together old aluminum cans and hang them around the lawn. The cans will jangle together and produce a sound that will frighten the birds.
5. Set up visual distractions
Shiny reflective surfaces often confuse and scare the birds away. The main advantage of this technique is that the materials required for it are available at a very cheap price.
There are many visual distractions you can try for your lawn. You can stick a few metal pinwheels on the ground to push the hungry birds out. You can also use mylar tape in place of pinwheels. Just place several strips of the shining bands on stakes and be surprised by the results.
Another alternative is to use your old CDs lying around in your homes. Use a string to hang a couple of them on tree branches. You can also try using Helium balloons to set up a visual distraction.
6. Use a bird feeder
Well, this technique is more on the lines of "if you cannot beat them, join them." The primary reason the birds visit your lawn is for the seeds, so let's just give it to them.
Install a bird feeder at a prominent place on the opposite side of your lawn, far away from your freshly sown lawn. The bird feeder will keep the hungry birds occupied until the time the grass seeds have germinated.
However, there is a small downside to this technique- the setup cost of a bird feeder and the money required for buying the bird food. Remember, you have to frequently replenish the food in the bird feeder. Despite this drawback, many people find this a worthwhile investment for protecting the grass seeds.
7. Use bird repellent seeds
Instead of using the conventional grass seeds, you can use bird repellent seeds to keep the tiny creatures away. These seeds are coated with a particular substance that changes its taste.
When the birds snack on it for the first time, they will experience an unpleasant gut reaction that they will associate with your lawn. Hence they will no longer revisit it for a quick snack. Please note that the bird repellent seeds are not poisonous. So you don't have to feel guilty for using it. You can either buy them online or from any gardening store near you.
I hope that you enjoyed reading the article. Looking up for information and sharing these 7 ways for keeping the birds away from the grass seeds helped me figure out how to create a beautiful lawn for my front yard.
I am optimistic that these tips will also help you to achieve your goals.
As a reminder, I would like to say that birds are intelligent creatures and will not be fooled for long. Therefore installing a scarecrow or using other strategies will only work for a short time if you do not make an effort to move things around and get creative.
Please feel free to share the article with your friends and leave your valuable thoughts in the comments section.
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