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Sharon Marie
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HOW TO DETER BIRDS FROM EATING GRASS LAWN SEED?

So, I've spent 6.5 hours outside today pulling up large weed patches (the old owners weren't so great at taking care of the lawn). I watered lightly, and used a hand rake to sow the grass seed into the soil. I then watered thoroughly.

Now, here come the robins. Help me! Will they eat all of it. The grass seed cost over 50 dollars just for 2 small bags. I have lots of lawn repair to do and I'm nervous that the birds are going to eat it all up. Should I set out bird seed? Rubber Snakes? Will they come out and eat it all tonight? I'm so scared. It was SO much work and I don't want to see it go to nothing. How do stop birds from eating the grass seed?
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Charlie MV
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There may not be much you can do about this batch of seeds. For the next batch, buy seeds that are coated with stuff birds don't like. One brand is Pennkoat [sp]. They're kind of green colored. The robins probably aren't eating as much as you think though.

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hendi_alex
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Might be worth a try, cutting on a rainbird type of sprinkler set so that it maximizes noise during the counter clockwise movement. Probably would only need to be run during the morning and afternoon times of most active feeding. The grass seed will likely appreciate the water as well.
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applestar
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I'm positive that the Robins aren't eating the seeds. They're appreciating all the earthworms, grubs, sod webworms, wireworms, and overwintering moths that you've so thoughtfully dug/turned up with the weeds. Of these, your only loss are the earthworms. :wink:

On the other hand, if you see a lot of sparrows or blackbirds on your lawn, THEY are the culprits eating the seeds. :x Mourning doves eat seeds too but they usually don't flock in such great numbers.

I'm sure there are other experts who can tell you the best way, but I seem to recall that the way to foil the seed eating birds is to either lay floating covers until the seedlings emerge or scatter a thin layer of seed-free straw over the seeded areas. Both also help to conserve moisture. (Be careful about the seed-free part -- the last bale of wheat straw I got is sprouting everywhere in my garden. If I had a wheatgrass-capable juicer, I could be drinking them! As it is, I've been pulling them up while they're still small when I weed and using them as mulch, but this won't work in the lawn.)

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Gary350
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Robins are meat eaters they will not eat the grass seed. Doves are ground feeders they will eat the grass seed. Finches like seeds but I don't think they are ground feeders so they may not be a problem.
Last edited by Gary350 on Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Sharon Marie
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Am I just destined to have problems? Today it POURED down. When I planted the grass seed, I was very diligent when planting the new seed. I dug up about 1/2 to 3/4" of soil, I spread the grass seed by hand (lots of it) and mixed it all up. Today when it rained, I went and put lots more seed down and mixed it in some more, because I could see very much of it. I also put some top soil on top of it to prevent drainage. Will the grass seed germinate?
This grass seed is expensive!! 25$ a bag! I got Scotts kentucky bluegrass that is coated to hold more water, so you have to water less often. What do you all think?
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Bestlawn
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I think you are suffering the same anxiety everyone does when they work at planting seeds. Take a chill pill or have a glass of wine and try to relax. If it's not a success, you won't know until there is evidence of failure, so there's nothing you can do about it right now. But, I tell you this happens to everyone. There is always some reason or another to worry and think it won't work out. But it normally does and if doesn't, it won't be because of the birds or the rain.

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Sharon Marie
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Thanks for the adise. I really do have loads of anxiety about it. It's silly really. I don't know why I'm so obsessive about it. I guess it's my new hobby and I'm determined to be good at it. You guys are the best!!!
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phantomphan
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sharon, if birds are really a problem go to the nusery and get some bird netting and spred it over the problem area. be sure to elevate the netting about 2-3 inches above the ground with some stakes. birds don't like walking on this and will avoid it. if the nursery dosen't have any netting go to the party supply store and see if they have the netting for dropping ballons from the ceiling, it is basically the same as bird netting.

fishbert
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My brother used to place old window screens over the seeded ground.

Applestar has mentioned floating covers. For the last year, I have been using grass /garden/ Frost covers for my lawn and swear by it. My brother has gone from using screens to covers after I introduced him to that this spring. I have used Grass-fast by Dalen and Frost blanket from Select. Apparently Dalen's Harvest Guard can be used too.

Covers have other benefits aside from protecting against birds.

I have posted about grass fast here:

[url]https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=7544[/url]

a0c8c
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I wouldn't stress too much about the rain. When I sowed grass seed in here, it stayed dormant until it rained. The next day after it rained, they all sprouted up. Rain can be a good thing when it comes to grass, most grass know to sprout after rain, it's inherent in their genes.

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Dupont makes a product called a "[url=https://www2.dupont.com/Garden_Products/en_US/applications/faqs_seedgerm.html]Seed Germination Blanket[/url]" which is made of "Aspen wood fiber and a one-sided polypropylene netting." They claim it "Protects Seeds" which I guess means it protects against Birds.

In Ontario, it appears it or a similar product is being used on along a major highway.

Unlike frost blankets or Grass-fast, I have no experience with this. I may be wrong, but appears it is a one time use product unlike the fabrics I am familiar with. Website mentions something about biodegradable pegs to staple it down

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hendi_alex wrote:Might be worth a try, cutting on a rainbird type of sprinkler set so that it maximizes noise during the counter clockwise movement. Probably would only need to be run during the morning and afternoon times of most active feeding. The grass seed will likely appreciate the water as well.
Cutting on? huh?

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It's a regionalism. The rest of us might say turning on... Some of the native Ohioans say cutting on, as in "would you cut on the lights please?"

I guess it makes sense, since we would all understand cutting off the lights for turning them off...
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Detering birds from grass seed

This is really very easy! i just sowed a new lawn of 80m2 i woke up this morning to find flocks of finches and sparrows feasting on my seed!

Simple resolution was to fix some blank cd's to stakes and push them in the ground and let the wind blow them about! NO MORE BIRDS!!!!!

Robins, Blackbirds and Thrushes are or seed eaters they eat the worms and grubs so don't worry about them! unless you are fond of the worms and grubs in your garden?javascript:emoticon(':o')

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tomf
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The lawn is going to grow no mater what you do.

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skiingjeff
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We started a large section of lawn last year and used plastic to cover the area until the seeds germinated. It did a great job - no wash out and great germination rate in their own little hothouse.

When we read about it online at first it sounded crazy but it worked! :shock:

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The trick is to get the grass seed into the soil and not have it sitting on the surface.

jww
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The CD trick failed for us. young sparrows sat right under them, pecking off the new seed our landscaper just put down.

I have to agree with the other post above about blending seed with soil. We hired a landscaper to strip/reseed 1/2 our backyd this year after losing a battle with drought/heat/grubs/skunks. He put down new soil, then spread seed, followed by a thin layer of peat moss. In areas up front where I did the reseeding myself I first mixed topsoil, seed blend & milorganite in a wheelbarrow. Result: the birds went crazy in the backyd, and left the spots I did largely alone. The areas I did seem to be doing better.

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jww wrote:The CD trick failed for us. young sparrows sat right under them, pecking off the new seed our landscaper just put down.

I have to agree with the other post above about blending seed with soil. We hired a landscaper to strip/reseed 1/2 our backyd this year after losing a battle with drought/heat/grubs/skunks. He put down new soil, then spread seed, followed by a thin layer of peat moss. In areas up front where I did the reseeding myself I first mixed topsoil, seed blend & milorganite in a wheelbarrow. Result: the birds went crazy in the backyd, and left the spots I did largely alone. The areas I did seem to be doing better.
I gotta say I used CD's - a total of 16 ... bunches of 4s at different heights - usually between 3 feet and 8 feet off the ground ... and it worked nearly 100%.

JonDon
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Re: HOW TO DETER BIRDS FROM EATING GRASS LAWN SEED?

I found it, after seeing birds come on in after figuring out that the sparkling tape on stakes flickering in the breezes that I stuck around the yard wasn't going to hurt them (there must be crows giving classes).

This works best (is most efficient) when you have areas of the yard to re-seed rather than dispersed spots. Mine are traffic areas that need refreshing every year.

Buy a roll of the least expensive lightweight plastic fencing for gardens you can find, cut it into sections appropriate to cover re-seeded areas, and lay it flat over the existing grass and new seed. There is plenty of room for light and moisture to get in as the new seed takes root, and the birds hate it. Then when the new seed germinates in a week or two, up it comes to be rolled up and used again when needed. After 20 years of trying to discourage the birds this has finally worked.

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Re: HOW TO DETER BIRDS FROM EATING GRASS LAWN SEED?

Welcome to the forum, JonDon! That's a good tip, thanks! :)

fi230969
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Re: HOW TO DETER BIRDS FROM EATING GRASS LAWN SEED?

I wonder what happened to OP. Would be nice if she came back and told us about her lawn.

:hehe:

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Re: HOW TO DETER BIRDS FROM EATING GRASS LAWN SEED?

I've seeded many lawns .... buy a few bags of a good compost (something that is a bit heavy but no lumps ) ....

here in the UK, I use John Innes number 3 .... spread the compost over the seed to cover ...(throw it by hand and a bag goes a long way).... do not tip and rake, as yoy will need loads of compost
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Sharky169
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Re: HOW TO DETER BIRDS FROM EATING GRASS LAWN SEED?

99.9% of grass seed these days have an additive to prevent the wildlife from eating it they are eating everything else. FEED and WATER your lawn or you wasted your money not the birds

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Re: HOW TO DETER BIRDS FROM EATING GRASS LAWN SEED?

Oh the frustration of birds! I've been pondering solutions to keep them away or off a newly planted area under a large oak tree. What I came up with is window screening (had a large roll) and made use of some window screens I don't use from the house.

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Gary350
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Re: HOW TO DETER BIRDS FROM EATING GRASS LAWN SEED?

Robins are meat eaters they do not eat grass seeds.

Doves are ground feeders they eat seeds on the ground.

There are lots of birds look see what you have in your yard and learn what they eat.

If you don't want birds eating grass seed then cover it up with soil or straw.

Many years ago I worked for a lawn service company best time to plant grass, trees, bushes, is in the fall when weather is rather cold, bugs have died from frost or first freeze and birds have gone.

My idea of lawn care is not to have any. My yard is all natural, grass, clover, dandelions, moles, birds and cats. I will never spray weed killer on my yard and I don't like neighbors that spray toxic poison on their yard their grass looks so FAKE. When my white clover & dandelions are attracting honey bees I will not mow it.

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Re: HOW TO DETER BIRDS FROM EATING GRASS LAWN SEED?

Cd's only work until the birds figure out they won't harm them, then they come back. We tried Cd's to keep the birds from pulling out the lettuce seedlings to get to the worms. It worked about a week, then they came back and ignored the cd's.

I heard about using straw, it would make it harder for the birds to find the seeds.

Most local homeowners will use plugs or stolons instead of seeds. No bird problems but depending on the grass it takes a while to fill in.
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Ksk
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Re: HOW TO DETER BIRDS FROM EATING GRASS LAWN SEED?

This old fashion but my grandparents put gauze over patches of newly planted grass seed and it worked. A loosely woven material that is similar might help.

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