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Bird Seed Problems

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



  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,537

    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.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,991

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

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • gardeningfanticgardeningfantic Posts: 1,019

    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 sufferimage


    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..

  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,214

    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.


  • image

     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.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 50,309

    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 image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • TeenrbeeTeenrbee Posts: 57

    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.

  • 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.

  • Alan4711Alan4711 Posts: 1,657
    Im told Microwave the seeds a short time and they cant grow iv not tried it as i hav,nt had the problem YET

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    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.

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