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18 messages
23/07/2013 at 13:13

Hi All,

Hope you've all recovered from the Thunder Storms - Garden seems to appreciate it!

OK - the only place I can put my bird feeders is near the end of the garden and the seed gets spilt on the ground and then I have a huge (ok I exaggerate) field of growing bird seeds that overwhelm everything else I have tried to plant there.  As I am disabled I struggle to clear it up daily and by the time I persuade a mate to help me we end up digging huge clumps of sprouting (rotting) bird seed off the top of the flowerbed. 

Has anyone got any advice for me please?  I suppose I want some advice as to what I can plant there that will withstand the falling sprouting seeds and take over the flowerbed leaving no room for the seeds?  Something pretty as well?  Maybe some sort of flowering shrub????

Help!  I've tried buying things that 'catch' the falling seed but the birds aren't very good at aiming at these!  

I await your responses with bated breath!  xxx

23/07/2013 at 13:16

I buy feed that does not have a lot of wheat in it. The little birds just chuck the wheat out and it grows as you say.  Cheap bird food is packed out with the stuff.

You could feed sunflower hearts. there are no husks and the birds love them.

23/07/2013 at 13:18

you want a deciduous shrub and only feed when it's not in leaf or the leaves will be covered with the end result. 

23/07/2013 at 13:24

thunder storms.. we got nothing down here.. were promised lots of rain and nothing.. i didnt water last night as they siad heavy rain.. so had to go round do it quick this morning before takin nipper to school.. we have had sunshine all blooming day.. no hint of rain. which my poor brown dead lawn and now whithering garden requires.. if my long standing shrubs are starting to suffer

 

i agree fidget bones.. i feed the birds and have learnt over the years that sunflower hearts are the better of the two.. and buy a good quality bird seed..i get mine form scats now as that is the only wild bird seed they eat where nothign gets thrown out..

23/07/2013 at 14:36

I am a bird feeder widow and I sympathise with your plight. My other half spends a small fortune each week on mixed seed,sunflower hearts, niger seeds and fat blocks. They are all grouped together in one place ( on an old cement path) but the mess gets thrown everywhere. The flowerbed beside it I have had to abandon because of the rankness of the soil. The only thing that I have found to grow there (and I have been researching this for 5 years) is a Laburnum Golden Rain. The birds use it as a perch so I can't grow anything under it but it flowers well on all that guano. The problem that I find is that anything planted underneath gets covered in falling debris and poo and looks disgusting. 

Other than that I hoe the muck in about once a week and that stops it from germinating at least.

23/07/2013 at 14:47

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/28008.jpg?width=288&height=350&mode=max

 Glue a old pot saucer  on the bottom (also drill a few small drainage holes in it) Then they can throw the seeds about in that and not on the ground. I also protect mine from the pidgeons as they tend to eat all the seeds and break off the saucer.

23/07/2013 at 15:48

I'd agree with fidget about buying good quality food that isn't padded with wheat and barley as that attracts wood pigeons in particular, but another alternative might be to put down membrane or plastic below the feeder and site a shrub/planting to the front of that. That way, you can get to the bit you need to tidy and brush up etc, but you won't have to look at it. Also, the big problem with nice greenery too near feeders is that it's the ideal hiding place for cats. It's like  a drive- through McDonalds for them 

23/07/2013 at 22:22

I vow I will never give birds niger seeds ever again!  six months on I'm still digging the stuff out of the garden.  It is a complete nightmare and I still get goldfinches with the food they are getting now.  I did think about getting a feeder with a tray attachment but they are so expensive I thought again.

24/07/2013 at 09:40
Steve Worthing wrote (see)
 

 Glue a old pot saucer  on the bottom (also drill a few small drainage holes in it) Then they can throw the seeds about in that and not on the ground. I also protect mine from the pidgeons as they tend to eat all the seeds and break off the saucer.

 

 

 We did this with one of our feeders but now the pigeons have learnt to perch right on the edge of it and they're so greedy.  I like your idea of mesh around the outside though - I'll try that next.

24/07/2013 at 11:25
Im told Microwave the seeds a short time and they cant grow iv not tried it as i hav,nt had the problem YET
Alan
24/07/2013 at 12:08

It sounds as though you are feeding cheap seed (a false economy IMO) or too much of it. At this time of the year there is plenty of natural food and you are not doing the birds any favours if they are wholly dependent on what you provide.

You should just feed enough so they clear it all up by the afternoon unless it is in rat-proof containers.  

Excess food will attract rats.

25/07/2013 at 07:14

25/07/2013 at 09:54

i find i have really not had the problem since i changed my seed supply.. but then i do get the pigeons, blackbirds and seagulls and rooks magpies come down and hoover up what is on the ground..

but i do understnad your plight.. as when i bought cheap seed i had all sorts growing out my lawn. i now also feed suet pellets (i get 5kg for £11) which they love and they leave no mess at all.. as there is never any wasted they love it.. and peanuts they dont get dropped and if they get hoovered up..

oh.. still no rain.. been promised it for the last three nights now and nothing not a drip or drop to be had..

26/07/2013 at 14:48

Wow! Thank you all for your suggestions.  Re bird seed it's a huge bag I get delivered with all sorts of seeds in it - I also have feeders with sunflower hearts and niger seeds. I suppose I agree that I'm probably feeding them too much?

I get baby starlings, sparrows, gold finches, green finches, collared doves, Red spots, wood pigeons and greedy feral pigeons and a very tame blackbird that I saved from a cat. Also get blue tits, great tits and a weird looking bird I can't identify!??

They all get a handful of mealworms scattered on the lawn every morning.

Microwaving seeds? sounds interesting - bet they all go BANG! in the microwave?

Looks like I'll have to invest in a vigorous shrub that might withstand the onslaught from above?

Reassuring the know that I'm not the only one battling this sort of problem.

xxx

 

26/07/2013 at 20:43

Can you describe your 'weird looking bird'?

27/07/2013 at 11:27

By the way, we're still waiting for thunderstorms down here (Sompting, W. Sx) and we could do with a bit more rain please!

It's hot again today (Sat)

27/07/2013 at 11:36

Re the bird - as Bird Lady says - can you describe it, or better still , get a pic if you can llaura. Someone will be able to ID it for you. 

As previously mentioned, using better quality and less food will really help, but there will be plenty of shrubs you could use for 'disguising' the mess, so can you give us an idea of the size of the space you have as well - should have asked you that before  (!)- and what else is nearby- fences, walls , size of existing flower bed etc.  Evergreens would obviously be better but I'm guessing you don't want anything too fast growing as it means more work for you keeping it under control and defeats the purpose! Soil and aspect will affect it so let us know what they are too. 

28/07/2013 at 12:07

Yippee, we've had some decent rain at last - and a fairly mediocre storm which whipped along the coast just to the south of us.

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