How To Stop Birds Eating Grass Seed
Grass is something we often take for granted and we generally see it and walk on it without giving it a second thought.
On the other hand, birds are essential for outside life and even our gardens need them to keep pests and insects at bay.
However, when sowing the best grass seed for your garden, birds can be a real pain to deal with when they constantly eat the seeds, so knowing how to stop this is key to developing a good lawn.
There are a variety of methods to keep birds from destroying your garden once the seeds are sown.
Using a repellent net and even setting up feeders as a distraction are effective ways of keeping the birds from your seeds, without doing any harm to them.
The fact of the matter is that you will have to consider at least one method of keeping birds at bay when planting grass seeds.
Fortunately, we are here to help you and this article is designed to give you tips on how to keep birds at bay when consuming these seeds.
We will look at a variety of methods to make it possible for you to grow grass in your garden. Aside from helping you keep the birds away, we will also look at how you can improve the growth of these seeds.
Birds are an essential part of the garden ecosystem
Even though you might get angry and even hate the birds sometimes, they are essential to the ecosystem.
Birds can consume thousands of insects throughout the year. These insects are not only harmful to your plants but your grass as well. There are plenty of worms that live in the grass and eat the grass.
Instead of using expensive pesticides to kill the worms, you can rely on the birds in your garden to keep the worm population at bay.
However, these worms might not be present while planting grass seeds, which means you want to keep the birds away for a while until they are needed. This also means you don’t want to kill or harm them.
Aside from worms, many different bugs latch onto plants and will consume your entire garden if you don’t have any birds that feed on these insects.
To have a green and flourishing garden, you will need a couple of birds to keep away some of the pests and control the insects in your garden.
How to stop birds eating grass seed – Top 8 tips
Now that you understand the importance of birds and why they are needed, we should look at how to accommodate them.
As mentioned, the last thing you want to do is kill them or chase them away. You want to distract them or limit their access to the grass, which ensures that grass seed can germinate and start to grow.
Here are eight proven ways to keep birds at bay:
One of the best options to start with is decoy feeders. It might not seem like much, but you will be keeping the birds happy while allowing the seeds to germinate and grow.
You can start by buying a bird feeder at your local supermarket or even at a pet store. Once done, you will need to buy some bird seed for them to consume.
Birds will naturally gravitate towards the feeder if there are no hindrances in their way. This also means that you will not have to have to worry too much about the grass seeds.
To use a simple analogy, it is much easier to eat the food given to you than having to put in the work and finding the food for yourself. Be sure to make a note of the local species and find the right seeds.
Use a repellent net
Another great option is to use a repellent net over the grass. You must have it at least a couple of inches off the ground to keep the birds from sitting on them and picking the seeds between the net. The net should still allow air and rain to pass through once it is used.
You can always remove the net at a later stage and once your grass has effectively started growing, you should not worry about the net and the seeds anymore. You will find that birds will still try to reach the seeds and in rare cases, they might even damage the net.
Using fake predators
Even though birds can fly where they want to and reach almost all the grass in your garden, birds are often afraid of predators.
Fortunately for you, birds are not apex predators and this means they are scared of other predators.
Having a dog or cat can be helpful to keep them at bay on your lawn, but pets prefer coming inside or sleeping at various times of the day.
You might want to consider having fake hawks or fake owls set up in trees around your garden. Most birds fear these larger predators and will stay away.
Having fake cats and dogs can also make a big difference if they are placed as decorations in your garden. Birds tend to avoid situations when they feel threatened.
Keep in mind that once your grass is growing, you can remove these predators and the birds should return.
Covering the seeds
While covering the seeds can help, you want to use something light and fluffy like straw. The straw will still allow the sunlight to pass through, which enables the grass to grow.
Additionally, the straw will make it much harder for birds to get down and reach these seeds.
We don’t recommend using straw when it is raining, as it will form a blanket over the seeds and reduce access to the sun. Only use straw when you can remove it before the rain starts and when you are home.
Add mulch to the garden
It might not seem like it does much, but mulch is great for your grass seeds. It will hold plenty of moisture when you water the garden.
The water in the mulch can help improve the seed germination to ensure that seeds always have enough water.
Additionally, birds don’t like searching for grass seeds between mulch. It is much easier for them to skip the mulch and search for other, more easy-to-locate seeds. It could help to keep birds away for a while and the seeds will have optimal germination.
The motion-activated sprinkler is one of the more expensive options on the list. However, it can kill two birds with one stone (not literally) when implemented correctly.
The motion-activated sprinkler will only activate once it detects motion. Since birds don’t like being wet, they will try to avoid this as much as possible.
Additionally, you won’t need to spend hours watering the garden. Once these sprinklers activate, they will do a couple of rounds of watering the immediate area.
We’ve covered the issue of how often to water your grass seed in much more depth here.
Use hessian to cover the grass
There are plenty of different options you can use to cover the grass. However, wind and rain might not work with you and you might find that straw is blown away by the wind.
Hessian is the perfect fabric alternative and it will cover the section of the grass while allowing the sun to pass through for photosynthesis.
Once the grass starts growing, you might need to get rid of the hessian to make sure that you don’t smother the grass when in the infant stage of growing. Fortunately, birds are after the seeds and they don’t care much for the grass.
Planting extra seeds
If you don’t want to put something over the grass or buy decoy feeders, you will be losing plenty of seeds.
The best way to counteract losing too many seeds will be to plant more seeds than you need. You will need to add enough seeds for the birds to eat and for the grass to grow, which can turn into an expensive endeavor.
However, the seeds will eventually start to grow, which means that you will see grass growing. This method can be very expensive if you are hounded by a lot of birds. Keep in mind that the more birdseed you put out, the more birds will come flocking to your garden.
How to speed up the germination and growth of grass seed
The best way to overcome birds eating your grass seed is to have them grow and germinate as fast as possible.
Once the seeds turn into grass, they are of no use to birds and the grass will begin to grow. One way to get rid of birds is to have them grow as fast as possible.
Here are a few tips to make them grow much faster:
Don’t disturb the grass
Unfortunately, we are fallible as humans and we often want to check and change things.
When planting grass seeds, you should stay away from the grass for as long as possible. The more you disturb the grass, the less effective the germination process will be.
You can extend the process significantly if you constantly disturb the grass.
Grass should have enough water
You must look at the water of the grass. If you get plenty of rain, you don’t need to constantly water the lawn.
However, grass will grow much faster when the water is right and when you give it enough water. Automated sprinklers are not a necessity, but they can make the watering process easier.
Soaking the seeds
Seeds take a while to mesh with the ground before they germinate. However, if you want to speed up the process, you can start the germination process elsewhere.
By soaking the seeds in compost, they might start germinating before you even sprinkle them outdoors. This means that the growth period should be more rapid.
Correctly mow the grass
The great thing about lawnmowers is that you can adjust the blades and the way the mower moves.
Mowing the grass correctly is extremely important. You should not adjust the blade to cut into the roots of the grass. By cutting the tips of the grass, you will also be spreading some of the seeds, which helps new grass to grow.
Nitrogen is your friend
Have you ever wondered why watering grass is not as effective as rain? The simplest explanation is that when watering the grass, you don’t add additional nitrogen.
Nitrogen is important for photosynthesis to take place. When it rains, the nitrogen from the air drops to the ground, which enables the grass to grow more rapidly.
Fortunately, you can buy compost with nitrogen separately. It is best to feed your grass once in a while to ensure that it has enough nitrogen to grow effectively.
Finally, you need to check the seed packets to make sure that you understand how deep to plant the seeds.
Certain seeds grow at different depths and it is important to make sure that you plant them correctly. By planting the seeds correctly, you will find that your grass will grow about 2 or 3 cm per week in the right conditions.
Dealing with birds eating your grass seeds can be a frustrating task. However, once you understand how to stop birds eating grass seed, you will notice a significant improvement in your lawn.
We would love to read some of your comments and tips that have helped you grow your lawns and how you deal with these pesky birds.