Did you know that fall is the best time to plant grass seed? Whether you are doing spot repair, overseeding, or starting from scratch, the months of autumn are a great time to plant because of the cooler temperatures and more adequate rainfall than what summer provides. Though utilizing these cooler months make it a lot easier for grass to germinate, it still takes time and effort starting a section of lawn from seed. Unfortunately, while it’s waiting to germinate in the dirt, a good portion of it may be eaten by the birds, unless you take proactive steps.
Sparrows and finches are your likely culprits. Sometimes referred to as ‘granivores’, or those who primarily live off of scavenged seeds and grain, these birds will fly in for feeding when they spy a potential meal, and that includes those straw-colored specks resting on the surface of your freshly raked dirt. Since they spend their days foraging for food, you can’t really blame them for taking advantage of the easy bounty.
So, how do we keep our feathered friends from wreaking havoc on our newly planted lawn? These tips and insights can help:
- Seeding mulch: Our favorite seeding mulch is GreenView Fairway Formula Seeding Success. This biodegradable seeding mulch not only conceals your tasty-looking seeds from backyard birds, but it also decomposes quickly, eliminating the need for cleanup after grass emerges. Additionally, Seeding Success contains fertilizer that will help get your grass off to a great start, is guaranteed to be 100% weed-free and will absorb 3 times its weight in water, eliminating the amount of time that you have to water your freshly planted grass.
- Mylar tape: Sometimes marketed as “bird scare” tape, this is a variation of the classic farmer tactic of placing a scarecrow in the field. These lightweight reflective strips can be hung or tied near the planting site, where they flutter in the breeze and reflect glints of sunlight. The movement and sudden light flashes can spook the birds.
- Cause a diversion: Lure the birds away from the grass-plot by offering a feast at your bird feeder. Lyric Finch Mix is packed with their favorites, including canary seed, canola seed, sunflower kernels, and Nyjer seed.