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Problem with landscape bark

In an attempt to make maintaining our borders easier, we have covered them with a layer of landscape bark to reduce the growth of weeds and to prevent the soil from drying out once watered as our garden is subject to some windy conditions.  However the local bird population find the bark hampers their search for worms and so every morning I am faced with areas of the bark over the lawns and patio as the birds have dug through it and scattered it all over.  Does anyone know of a way to discourage the birds from scattering the bark or of a more suitable alternative to bark which won't get scattered all over the garden?


  • bcpathomebcpathome Posts: 1,250
    You won’t be able to stop the birds shoving it about .You will either have to just put up with it or dig it in and find another way .
  • edhelkaedhelka Posts: 2,350
    I use bark in a couple of places in my garden but not in most of my mixed beds. In mixed beds, I just go for dense planting.
    In my rose bed mulched with bark, I've done a low lavender hedge around it and that basically stopped it.
  • PlantmindedPlantminded Posts: 2,737
    I've got some areas in my garden where the blackbirds leave the bark untouched.  In others they return habitually to cause mayhem - very annoying!  It's worse after it's rained as this must bring the worms closer to the surface.  I sometimes use upturned seed trays and pots on some of the edges of the borders to discourage them but that doesn't look good long term. 

    If growing ground cover plants or edging plants isn't an option, you could consider covering some of your borders with landscape fabric and topping it with gravel, limestone or decorative pebbles, especially near your patio where the mess they make is most noticeable!
    Wirral. Sandy, free draining soil.

  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,461
    You'll have to learn to live with it or use something else to suppress weeds.  I have to clear up every couple of days as they chuck the bark from my raised beds far and wide.  Fortunately it's onto a patio so easy enough to sweep up and put back - until next time.
  • Always worse when the young birds fledge too.  As said above, there is little you can do unless you net the garden to stop any birds coming in.  Using any other loose natural material as a mulch won't alter things - the birds will continue to poke about and scatter the material everywhere.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    It's a pain, isn't it. I don't use bark but I mulch with well rotted garden compost. It seems to weigh a ton when I'm putting it down but it's scattered all over the garden within 24 hours.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,630
    I bought small black cheapish metal decorative edging which just clips together and spikes into the ground. Near the bird feeder I also backed it with black netting so they can't kick it thro. In other areas, I put a line of pebbles (3 or 4 deep) on the border edge where it adjoins the path. That seems to have worked so far.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
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