When you have spent hours researching, preparing and spreading new grass seed, the last thing you want to see is pesky birds enjoying a feast of your seeds. Luckily, there are many techniques that you can employ to discourage birds from ruining your efforts.
Because on average it takes four weeks for the grass seeds to germinate, you will not have to use these tactics long. Because none of the ideas are particularly attractive, this short germination is a good thing.
Keep reading for a list of some of the many ways you can deter these opportunistic creatures.
- Try to stop birds by placing dollar store items like shiny and colorful pinwheels, realistic rubber snakes, and plastic owls at various points within the newly seeded area. The shiny colors of the pinwheels will scare birds, as will the plastic predators. The key for this strategy to work is to occasionally rearrange your placement, to ensure the birds do not get used to the deterrents and realize they are not a threat.
- Set up an area specifically for birds by hanging bird feeders and keeping them well-stocked with their favorite foods. The easier to get to food in a safer set up may encourage them to stay away from your grass seeds.
- If you're planting your seeds in the early spring or fall, you could try laying clear plastic sheeting over the newly planted area. Weight it down with rocks, so it will not blow away. Sheeting will allow the sun to still get to the grass and will retain moisture. Sheeting is not a viable option for the summer months, however, as it will be too hot for the seeds to survive under the sheeting. If you are planting a large area, this also will probably not be a great option.
- Use a mulch like straw to keep the birds from seeing the seeds and easily getting to them. If you purchase mulch at a landscaper, you will be able to find varieties that are certified to be weed free. It would be incredibly frustrating to keep the birds away only to welcome weeds into your fresh grass. The straw needs to be thin enough to allow the sun to reach the seeds. Covering about 75 percent of the soil should be sufficient. After the seeds have germinated and have strong roots, you will be able to rake away the straw. You can then add it to your compost pile so you can use it again to fertilize your grass.
None of these techniques are pretty, and you may get some strange looks from neighbors.
Keeping them up for at least four weeks, however, is necessary for successful germination. Additionally, while each can be effective on their own, the best way to ensure success is to employ several of them at the same time and to rotate them often.
They may be a pain, but in four or so weeks you will be enjoying your beautiful and fresh yard.