With birds on your lawn, you wake up to beautiful melodies that brighten up any day. Besides, they feed on insects and pests and provide beautiful sceneries for photography. Although birds are beneficial to lawns, they can cause a real disaster if you are sowing grass seed.
Birds enjoy eating grass seeds and taking a dust bath on recently raked turf. Whether you are planting new grass or reseeding your lawn, you’ll need to know how to keep birds from eating the grass seed.
If no measures are put in place to keep birds off your lawn when sowing grass seeds, these ferocious eaters can feed on all the seeds before they start sprouting.
Sowing grass seed is a demanding task and knowing how to keep birds from eating the seeds comes in handy with giving the sown seeds ample time to sprout. Most grass types fully germinate at about four weeks.
Let’s dive into the tips on how to keep birds from eating grass seeds.
1. Use Fake Predators
Do you wonder why birds are so afraid of scarecrows? Well, birds don’t like staying close to their predators.
Placing fake predators on your lawn will keep off birds from pecking grass seed. You can put fake owls, hawks, or rubber snakes, each of these given examples will work great during and after sowing grass seed.
The rubber snake is a perfect example of a predator lurking on the ground, and it prevents seed eaters from landing to eat grass seeds.
Ensure that you change the position of the fake predators to keep the birds from suspecting it.
It would be best if you frequently switch the fake predators’ place to stay in line with reality. Besides, there are fake models with features that add realism to them, for instance, a fake owl model with a rotating head.
2. Using A Decoy Bird Feeder
Since the grass seed is under the soil surface, a bird has to go through a lot of effort before tasting them. Providing the birds with an easy feeding ground ensures they don’t eat the grass seed.
The decoy feeder works to divert the birds’ attention from the area with grass seed by attracting the birds.
A decoy feeder will attract lots of birds; therefore, when using it to lure birds into easily accessible food, ensure you place the feeder at a safe distance from the section of your lawn with sown grass seeds.
3. Creating A Noise Deterrent
The best part about the noise deterrent is that you don’t need a specific sound. Any sound works to prevent seed-eating birds from landing on a sector of your lawn that you have sown grass seed.
The sound produced by these noise deterrents is ultrasonic, meaning that it’s hard for the human ear to perceive such a sound. Simply put, these sounds are almost inaudible to the human ear. The noise will not distract you, yet it will scare off the birds.
4. Using Hay Or Straw To Mulch The Grass Seeds
Mulching grass seed with straw is among the oldest ways to prevent birds from eating the seeds.
Rake your seeds about an eighth inch below the soil surface before adding the straw mulch. Raking the seeds under the soil naturally provides them with a cover, ensuring you don’t need to add excess mulch on the surface.
Besides, mulching helps obtain the optimum conditions for grass to germinate. Mulching retains moisture on the soil, which is essential for grass germination, maintains warmth on the ground, especially in frigid regions. It also acts as a barrier preventing the weeds from taking over the lawn before grass seeds begin to sprout.
5. Use A Repellent Net
Covering the grass seed with a repellent net is an easy way to keep it safe from the birds.
You can lay the net directly on the lawn’s surface, or you can opt to raise it a few inches above the surface. Either way, you’ll have to ensure that the net edges are firmly secured in place using a heap of stones.
These lightweight seed covers are the best alternative to mulching to keep birds off the seeds. Besides, the repellant nets also help protect the grass seeds from excess winds that would otherwise blow them off the ground.
The net prevents birds from pecking through the mulch. You can remove the cover later after you notice the seeds sprouting. Besides, these nets do not absorb lawn fertilizers or any other chemicals you spray on the grass.
6. Using A Reflective Tape
Are you frustrated by pigeons, geese, grackles? You mention it! Any of those ferocious eaters that wipe your grass seeds before they sprout.
Most birds dislike these tapes and consequently avoid places with the reflective tapes. The reflective tape deters birds from landing on a newly sown area.
You can either place the reflective tape on the ground above the sown grass seed, hang it on nearby trees or even tie it on poles within the sown area.
The tape is lightweight, and thus you should secure its ends firmly to prevent it from being blown by the wind.
Bird deterrent reflective tapes are an excellent choice to keep pecking birds away from a region you have just sown grass seeds.
7. Installing A Motion-Activated Sprinkler
This tool starts to sprinkle water when it detects motion on its territory. Placing a motion-activated sprinkler on an area with sown grass seed deters pecking birds.
Besides, you can opt for an orbiting model to cater to all the directions around your garden. Using this tactic to scare seed-eating birds comes with many advantages.
This strategy properly waters the grass seeds and enhances energy conservation.
8. Using Burlap Over The Seeded Soil
If your region is windy, this is the most effective strategy you can adopt to fend off the seed-eating birds. The wind will probably blow off straw, mulch, or repellent nets in no time.
Whether you use the burlap sacks or the burlap rolls, the sown grass seed will be less vulnerable to pecking birds.
These sheets may seem heavy on the soil surface, but they allow germinating grass seed to penetrate them easily. So, you don’t have to worry about their appearance; they are great for the task at hand.
Ensure you secure the sheet edges firmly using the u-pins after laying it over the grass seeds. Remember to remove the sheet when you notice the seeds germinating.
Let’s face the fact that no matter how hard we may try to keep birds from eating the grass seed, some of them will still end up eating.
Moreover, strong winds may blow the grass seed to an area with no precautions to keep the birds off.
Planting extra grass seeds counter the above situations. Besides, no one wants to sow the seeds and later have the grass germinate in patches.
The extra seeds will serve to compensate for the ones brown by the wind, eaten by birds, or the ones that rot and fail to germinate.
Nevertheless, you should not sow more than 30% of the ideal amount of grass seeds to prevent overcrowding.
You will see the pecking birds just after sowing the grass seed. Besides, most birds naturally like eating grass seeds.
If you do not keep birds from eating the grass seed, they can devour on most of it. No one wants to sow seeds that later germinate in patches or worse still do not germinate at all.
Sowing grass seed is a daunting activity. Adopting the above strategies after sowing the seed will deter the pecking birds, thus ensuring all the seeds germinate.