How to Prevent Birds From Eating Grass Seed

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How to Prevent Birds from Eating Grass Seed

Are you having trouble with birds eating your grass seed? It’s absolutely possible to keep seeds growing without interference from birds.

We’ve compiled a few helpful and practical methods to show you how to prevent birds from eating grass seeds. The following are some of the easiest and most effective methods that will help you grow a lush lawn that you’ll love. Let’s dive right into it.

Methods to Prevent Birds from Eating Grass Seed

1. Hay or Straw Will Do the Job

The first remedy that’s found everywhere is laying the hay or straw on top of the seeds. You may be wondering how exactly this will deter the birds. The hay or straw covers the seeds from the eyes of the birds. The birds won’t be able to detect the seeds you planted in your yard, and that’s how simple you can save the seeds from being eaten.

Laying the Straw

It’s best if you cover the seeds as much as possible with the straw. You don’t need to obsess about covering every individual seed, but at least keep a check that the seeds are covered to a good extent. 

While placing the straw, see that you’re planting your seeds a little deeper, as much as an inch into the soil so it won’t get carried away by the wind. A rake is a great tool to help you place the straw all over the grass seeds that are planted.

After the seeds germinate, remember to remove all of the straw from the ground. The germinated plant will require sunlight to grow. If you leave the straw on these newly growing grasses, it will stunt their growth by blocking the light the grass needs. Sunlight is an essential factor for its growth, so this is an important step.

While removing the straw, the best way is to pick it up is by hand. Using tools might cause damage to these new plants. You must be gentle with it. 

2. Mulch

Another thing that can be put over the grass seeds is mulch. It’s similar to the dried grass concept. Mulch is usually applied to the top layer of the soil to help it retain moisture, and will keep it healthy. This layer will add to the fertility of the soil and the plants. It helps with weeds that tend to grow in your lawn or garden.

You can use mulch as an alternative to straw. Mulch will bring you an added benefit, it will contribute to keeping your soil in great condition, helping your grass seeds to grow well. As Mulch also keeps weeds away, you will make a good choice in choosing it. You get to protect your grass seeds from the birds as well as you provide a good growing environment for the seeds.

The application process could be similar to that of dried grass. You will have to spread a thin layer over the planted grass seeds. Take a note that you should not cover it fully. Mulch could be thicker than straw and that’s why covering your planted seeds at 80% will give you good results. Mulch will block more sunlight than the grass. So, keep a check and don’t cover the seeds fully.

Once you see your seeds sprout, remove the mulch. Your grass will be able to grow very healthily and you’ll have a beautiful green yard.

3. Burlap Fabric

Burlap is another effective option to keep your seeds safe from both birds and wind. A piece of burlap fabric is made of fibers such as jute plant, vegetable fibers, and sisal fibers. 

Straw or mulch may fly away with the wind. There are chances that the grass seeds might also move from their position if you live in windy areas. This could be an advantage for the birds to fly to your lawn and eat away the grass seeds. To be safer from all these variables, you can buy a burlap fabric that will lay on your grass seeds. You must simply spread this fabric on the planted area.

Are you worried that the fabric could kill your seed plants? It won’t. The burlap fabric is very thin. It works great as a protective layer. This fabric is capable of allowing water and sunlight to seep into the underlying seeds. You can be sure that your grass seeds are getting the right nutrients.

To keep the fabric in place, you can use u-pins. And follow the same practice, you must remove this protective layer when the grass seeds germinate. 

Once the seeds sprout green, they are already saved from the birds.

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4. Scarecrows and Alternatives

Even though this is an ancient technique, it’s still effective. A scarecrow keeps the birds from flying to your lawn in the first place. Scarecrows are widely used by the farmers to shoo away the birds from big fields. These scarecrows can protect your lawn too. Since birds get easily frightened when they look at a scarecrow sitting in your yard, they wouldn’t dare to enter.

Added bonus is that you can get creative at it. Scarecrows or any figurines could beautify your garden if you’re creative.

The traditional scarecrow might seem unpleasant. But there are similar options that offer a lot of elements that will be best to protect your garden from the birds. Rubber snakes work well. You will be able to get your hands on rubber snakes that look real on Amazon or any store close by. Birds will easily get scared when they see them.

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You can also get some real-looking owls. It might look scary but it will do its job. 

Another efficient option is placing a moving object or something that will make continuous noises. This will scare the birds away instantly. There are many ways in which you can stop these birds from visiting your lawn and saving the seeds from being eaten.

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5. Use Faint Noises in Your Yard 

You need not play loud music, but having something to make gentle or ringing noises will work great in keeping the birds away from your yard. 

It can be terrifying for the birds to be in places with noise. It makes them alert of someone’s presence. 

All you need to get is a wind chime. A wind chime not only adds to the aesthetics of your yard but also will scare the birds away. Windchimes are calming to the soul, so it’s a nice addition to your yard.

But if you don’t like the noise the wind chime makes, then there are other alternatives.

You can get some of the creative wind hangings that will make your lawn beautiful and deter birds from entering.

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In case if you’re still not convinced to spend money on these elements. You can make a great alternative yourself. Hanging utensils or you could make a good DIY wind chime with the simplest things available around you.

6. Netting

Placing a net over the seeds is also a good alternative. For this, you must be sure to place your grass seeds into the ground. The net surface will block the birds from picking up the seeds. And since it’s made of net, water and sunlight are able to reach the seeds.

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7. Mylar Tape 

Mylar tape is a metallic tape you can hang in your yard. The sparkles coming from the tape will keep birds away. This tape method has been used by gardeners and farmers effectively for years.

Most importantly the tape’s reflection is what does most of the work. It blinds the bird and the birds will not dare to enter the yard. 

The tape has proved to work well and so your seeds are well protected. This tape has been effective to keep all kinds of birds away- big and small.

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Setting Up the Tape

It’s not a hard task, but you must know how to place the tape in the right way.

  1. Set up wood poles or two long sticks that are at least 3 feet long.
  2. Place the two poles apart from each other. You can measure a distance of 6 feet apart or longer.
  3. Tie the tape strips to the poles. These strips must cross each other. Ensure that the tape moves freely to the wind since that’s what does the real job.

The shimmer and blinding reflection will keep all the birds away from your yard. You can be sure of saving your seeds. You might have to replace the tape if it wears out due to the weather conditions.

This method might be time-consuming but it works well once you set it up and until the tape needs to be replaced.

Please see these other articles that will help you to grow a beautiful lawn:

8. Find Other Distractions for the Birds

Now, this method will keep your birds away from your grass seeds as you will deter them in other ways.

A garden without birds could be less of a garden. But surely, we wouldn’t want the birds to destroy what we are trying to grow.

You could find alternatives like putting out bird seed at some point of the day, hanging feeders, or place them somewhere in the garden, far away from your new grass but in a place where the birds can easily find it.

A birdhouse or a birdbath doesn’t sound bad, does it? It adds more aesthetics to your yard. When you have a separate space for them, most birds will get distracted and will not search for food anywhere else. Thus, you’re saving your grass seeds. 

Creating good distractions, yet letting them play in your garden could be the best natural thing to witness. Spending time with your plants and birds could be an excellent stress-relieving activity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do birds eat grass seeds?

Birds eat grass seed because they’re hungry and the seeds are an easy snack. They also enjoy eating them because it’s a high-energy food.

Do birds eat coated grass seed?

Some types of grass seeds include an exterior coating that makes it unappealing to birds. Some seeds have a substance that tastes terrible while others are coated with wax which prevents the bird from swallowing and digesting the seed. The coating is not harmful, but it will prevent birds from eating them as they taste bad or are too difficult to swallow.

Can grass seed kill birds?

Grass seeds can be harmful to birds, but the effects are not immediate. It will take days of eating grass seed before any harm is done to a bird. Most birds eat other food as well so it’s unlikely they’ll get sick or die from one day of ingesting grass seed.

Final Thoughts

There could be many factors that come in the way of growing grass, but birds are one major obstacle. 

Wild birds that wander will find gardens and yards to be the best places for getting their food. And by chance, if you’re unaware of this aspect and place your seeds on the open ground, you’re likely to struggle to grow grass.

If you’re a serious gardener, you must take proper measures to protect your plants, especially seeds. With a wide variety of options out there, you no longer have to worry about your grass seeds. You can use the methods that you’re comfortable with.

Gardening can be a very enjoyable activity. There’s something about greenery that makes people happy. Growing grass that will cover your lawn with a lush green that adds beauty to your home and happiness to your heart.

Planting seeds will require care. You’ll have to keep a watch until they germinate and start growing. Knowing how to prevent birds from easting grass seed can be challenging, but it’s definitely not impossible. Taking good care if your plants mean giving them protection until they can stand by themselves.

In the first few days of planting grass seeds, you’ll have to be cautious and give protection. After all, you’ve worked hard.

Like the saying, “prevention is better than cure”, you need to follow the right techniques to keep the birds from eating your grass seeds. Your lawn has the potential to thrive with your care and support. Let your grass grow in the best way possible.

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