The Q&A Archives: Help! Pigeons keep eating my lawn seed!

Question: My husband and I planted sod in our backyard purchased at your store. 80% took beautifully but 20% pretty much died after 3-4 weeks. We have put down lawn seed repeatedly but pigeons seem to migrate from everywhere feasting on the seed regardless of what precautions we have taken to create a barrier over the seed. Do you have any suggestions how we can get lawn to grow in this area?

Answer: If you've tried covering the seed with straw or compost or peat moss, you may have to resort to some rather bizarre tactics. I know it will look funny but one way of getting grass started and keeping the birds away from the seed is to cover the seeded area with a white cotton sheet. Hold the corners down with nails. Keep it wet, it will keep the seed wet and it actually acts like a green house. Germination takes place quickly and you can tell when it is time to remove the sheet as it gets pushed up by the new grass. Or, try human hair. One gardener tells me the birds won't eat stuff with hair all over it. And also the hair will smell like people or other animals to them and they wont like it. Go to dog groomers, salons and barber shops ask them to save there sweepings for about a day. Sprinkle on your lawn. The grass seed will still be able to get the light and water it needs and the hair will eventually either blow away or just degrade into your soil. Or, you could try mixing crushed red pepper with water and spraying down the seeded area with it. The birds wont like the way it smells and tastes. Hope one of these suggestions helps!

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