Help! Birdseed growing in yard

peabody1April 7, 2005

I have a terrible problem with birdseed growing in my yard in the area of my birdfeeders. Other than taking the birdfeeders down is there any way to stop it from growing? Right now I have peanut plants taking over the yard in one area and some other plants taking over in another area. Is there a type of birdseed that doesn't do this?

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dirtboy58(Zone 7 MD)

Yeah, know the mess that can grow. I've decided to go to the already hulled seed mix...what's that called...no mess (don't remember)? You could change your feeding to only thistle for the finches. Thistle sold as bird seed is sterile so it doesn't germinate in the soil. And you can always plant sunflowers.

There are feeders that catch the fallen seed in a tray to feed other birds too.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2005 at 9:38AM
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cantstopgardening(Zone 4/5 WI)

Dirtboy, umm, my experience has been otherwise on the thistle seed. Maybe it is a regional thing? A neighbor was an avid bird feeder, and we had thistles everywhere. She moved two-three years ago, the new neighbors don't feed birds. I haven't spotted more than a few thistles in my yard since. And the thistles were mostly on the side next to the neighbor who fed, or under the split-rail fenceline.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 12:12AM
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roseunhip(z5b QC)

I have had the same problem a few years ago with a WalMart mix that "looked" very nice (to avoid pigeons and feed cardinals, juncos, etc.). It had lots of oil sunflower and red millet, for instance... but also, I was to discover, an awful lot of mustard-type seeds - I once researched it but cannot recall if it really was mustard-related or not - that the birds here simply ignored, and that sprang like rage all over the place!! I killed it by pulling and using heavy mulch. Then I replaced those mixes with pure oil-type sunflower + pure white millet (which I scatter in specific, inconspicuous places in order to avoid attracting pigeons... which works!!), and no problems anymore. This all depends on the region you inhabit. Take the trouble and talk to a good wild bird seed specialist in your area about what can be troublesome there for the environment vs. the birds species you really want to help.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 8:23AM
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Elaine_NJ6

The one thing that seeds are meant to do is grow new plants. This seems like yet another reason to avoid feeding birds artificially and instead rely on native plants.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 9:11AM
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nopastels

Umm. . .mow it and call it a lawn?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2005 at 7:29PM
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Stellinate(5 OH)

I buy seed at nearby elevator and have saved myself the headaches of buying from department store brands. I can buy premixed varieties for a little more than the department store but it contains less 'junk'. I can also buy individual components and mix it myself to attract the birds I want most without wasting their least favorite types. In the long run, it is less expensive as more of the food is eaten.
The last thing I do is treat my beds with Preen although I have skipped this step many years. Anything in the yard gets mowed over anyway.
I also buy Nyjer seed from the elevator and have had no problems with it. You need to buy this frequently as it does not store well so smaller quantities more often ensure a better product.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 11:43AM
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jillmcm(z6 PA)

The "thistle" seed sold in this country is not actually thistle - it's nyjer, which is sterilized before being imported. Any thistles from bird feeding are brought in by the birds themselves, and do not come from the seeds your neighbor fed.

The no mess mix works well. Don't buy mixes with milo or millet, they're the biggest culprits for sprouting along with the BOSS. I like the sunflowers, though :)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 8:14PM
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llavery

I'm very new at this, so please forgive me if I make a mistake, but I've got the same problem. I have a large number of birds that feed in both my front and back yard, and I seem to have about a 3-4 foot circle of what I assume is birdseed growing under the bird feeders. It's very dense, but very spongy. I don't want to do away with the bird feeders, so what do I do? Does nuking the birdseed really help? Or, is there a creative way I can put some kind of rock garden or something under the bird feeders? I was thinking if I could do something creative that I could hose down, the bird seed would no longer be an issue. The area is so bad right now that I doubt grass is an option - at least not this year. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 12:47AM
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lisa11310(z5 MI)

Hey you got free bird food there! Yipee! Who needs a lawn anyway, lawns are boring, highly over rated and a PITA! I am sure some critter will come along and eat the plants at some point. Of course I live in the woods and have no use for a lawn, wasted space IMHO. Just mow em down and call it "ground cover" like I do LOL!
Lisa

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 4:31PM
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vaderbanger(Z6 SE PA)

nopastels
im with you, mow it! lol
duh just take a weed wacker and wack away
i have 6 birdfeeders up, all with different seeds, nuts etc
i have sprouts all over the place and i still have a decent looking lawn
if its green and mowed down its hardly noticable

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 10:03AM
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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

I have virtually no problems with seeds sprouting either but I do spend a bit more on feeds that deter doves and starlings which are apt to throw seeds around like maniacs.

Why not plant under your birdfeeders and give the seeds some competition?

Barb

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 11:07PM
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