Patchy lawns are usually caused by birds that are attracted to the grass seeds. These seeds serve as a tasty treat, which can make you question, ‘is there a grass seed that birds won’t eat?’
Is There a Grass Seed Birds Wouldn’t Eat?
From a bird’s perspective, all seeds are the same, especially grass seeds. Granivorous species such as pigeons, finches and sparrows love to hunt for and take any seed they can get, which might include your grass seeds.
There isn’t any grass seed that birds won’t eat. Although there might be plenty of other food sources, such as berries and wild seeds, birds simply can’t pass on free food when it’s there and available for the taking. But the good news is that you can take several steps and methods on how to keep birds away from grass seed.
7 Ways to Keep Birds From Eating Your Grass Seed
Offer an Alternative Food Source
You can try to distract the birds from going after your grass seed by installing a bird feeder around your lawn. Since it’s higher it might be seen first and hopefully, they’ll head in for a visit and eat as much as they want without looking at your grass seed.
Entice birds further by putting in tasty treats such as small nuts, fruits and sunflower seeds and keeping it well-stocked when you sow your grass seeds.
One natural way of keeping birds out of your lawn is by keeping it neat and tidy. When they see that there’s no cover or debris they can land on or hide in, they might look somewhere else for their food.
Cleaning up involves removing large debris such as branches and stems, as well as small ones such as dead leaves, fallen fruit and spent flowers. Also, cover your garbage bins and place them in another location.
Cover with Repellent Net or Straw
Make it harder for birds to get to the grass seed by covering it with straw, mulch or a repellent net. Alternatives include burlap sheet, transparent tarp or a specially made bird netting.
Spreading mulch or straw along the ground might be easier, but you’ll have to clean up afterwards and when the first blades appear. Covers are a bit more difficult to install but they can be used semi-permanently and only during the seeding stage.
Install Shiny Materials Around the Lawn
There’s something about shiny things that birds don’t like- the sudden glare makes them uneasy and assume there’s a prey lurking about. Use this to your advantage by buying items such as pinwheels, bird scare tape or a few CDs or DVDs that you’re not using.
Alternatively, you can get decoys, balloons and fake predator figures to try and keep birds from eating grass seeds. Sound repellent devices such as small speakers and wind chimes may also work to a degree.
Get a Motion Activated Sprinkler
Achieve two things at once by installing a motion activated sprinkler system in your lawn. First, it puts out a spray of water whenever it senses motion in the area, e.g., birds and small animals, and two, your grass gets hydrated automatically and with little to no manual help from you.
A motion activated sprinkler may be more expensive than most, but it’s a great supplemental source of water to help your turf thrive in drought and hot seasons.
Sow Extra Seeds
Bare patches caused by bird snacking on your grass seeds can be prevented simply by putting in more seeds.
You can take into account the natural occurrence that birds will eat some of your seeds and sow more. For instance, you can spread a handful or so extra seeds once you’re done with the initial seeding evenly in the yard. This way you’ll have a greater chance of an even lawn even when the birds visit.
Opt for Bird Repellent-Coated Seeds
Some grass seed manufacturers take into account the bird problems their buyers have and offer seeds that have bird repellent coating in them.
You’ll usually see this advertised on the packet or product description. Although it isn’t completely foolproof it can serve as a deterrent especially if you combine it with the other methods.
Related Article: Straw Cover For Grass Seeds