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How to Stop Birds From Eating Grass Seed

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017
A robin looking for food

Seeding a lawn is less expensive than laying sod and is the most common way of repairing existing lawns. Seeding requires more initial care than a sod lawn, but is just as attractive if done right. Unfortunately, birds are drawn to the seed and may eat most of it before it has a chance to grow unless you take the proper precautions. Protect your newly seeded lawn while giving it the proper conditions to germinate and grow quickly. Once germinated, the birds will have little interest in it.

Rake seeds into the top layer of soil, then go over the area with a seed roller immediately after sowing. Even if the birds get some top seeds, they will be unable to get all the seed if sown properly.

Mulch the area with a 1-inch layer of straw mulch. This prevents the birds from seeing the seeds and helps hold in the moisture needed for germination.

Lay clear plastic sheeting over the seeded area and weigh down with rocks. Use plastic sheeting only during spring or fall seedings, where the temperature under the plastic will not be so hot that it damages the seeds.

Surround the seeded area with wooden stakes and tie bird tape around each stake. Purchase bird tape—a metallic streamer that scares birds as it glitters in the breeze—from home and garden stores.

Use items meant to keep birds from gardens, such as whirly-gigs and other moving lawn ornaments. Choose items with plenty of movement and bright colors that only a require a small breeze to set them off.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Mulch
  • Plastic
  • Stakes
  • Bird tape
  • Lawn ornaments

Tips

  • Hang old compact disks from strings over the seeded area. The CDs flash as the wind blows them, frightening any birds.
  • Use pinwheels or windsocks made from bread bags tied to long stakes to frighten away birds.

Warning

  • Remove mulching or plastic as soon as sprouts appear.

About the Author

 

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.