how to stop birds eating vegetable seedlings

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]What’s more annoying than preparing your planting beds and carefully adding seedlings or transplants, only to have birds swoop down and peck at everything? Flying creatures like blackbirds, grackles, crows, and starlings all have a bad and well-earned reputation amongst gardeners. But here’s the complicating factor — you don’t want to harm the birds, you just want them to leave your dang tomatoes alone, right?

After all, the same birds that damage your garden are the very same ones that eat all the pesky bugs that also damage your garden. So, let’s look at some ways to protect your plants from these high flyers.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column]

How to Protect Seedlings from Birds

There are many strategies that gardeners have come up with to prevent birds from eating seedlings, from the intricate to the ridiculous. Even though your hardware store sells items like fake owls and bird scares, these tricks become less effective with time. Restricting access to your seedlings for your feathered friends is the only foolproof method to keep them away. To begin, remove any source of food from your garden as far as possible. Stock your feeder so birds that might be pecking at your seedlings out of sheer hunger have somewhere to go for food. Once your seedlings have reached about 8 inches (20 cm. ), you may now unwind a little because most birds won’t bother them. Most gardeners end up running for the chicken wire or bird netting when birds start eating seedlings. Both of these can be excellent exclusionary materials if you’ve constructed a strong framework to hold them up. If buried deeply, arches constructed of PVC, bamboo, or soft hose can sustain a lot of wind and offer the support these materials require. To keep your chosen material from sagging once it’s stretched over the frame, pull it taut and weigh it down with rocks or fasten it to the ground with landscape staples. Using monofilament line as a deterrent to prevent birds from ever landing in your garden is another option that is still being researched. There is strong evidence that birds detest fishing line, even though scientists are unsure of what it is about it that bothers them so much. One length of fishing line can be suspended above the seedlings in row crops and fastened to stakes at either end of the row. For thickly bedded seedlings, a filament run at 12 inches (31 cm) will be beneficial. ) intervals. Choose a 20 pound (9 kg. ) or greater line for best results.

5 Tips to Protect Your Plants

Bird netting. Although this is the most successful tactic, it can also be complicated. Raise your hand if you have ever used bird netting to cover your veggies only to have it wind up a tangled mess. If so, you are welcome to the club. Therefore, you should plan to build a few hoops from one side of your bed to the other using some cheap PVC pipe, and then cover those with bird netting. When it’s time to harvest, gently raise one side by using landscape pins or wire to secure it into the ground. I realize it’s a little inconvenient, but at least you’ll have harvestable produce.

Mylar balloons. Reflective surveyor’s tape and mylar balloons both produce a flash of light that frightens birds. The idea behind hanging old CDs overhead is the same as well. Plan to move the balloons or tape around every few days to confuse the birds in order to keep this one effective.

Covers. Covers work well for small seedlings (less than 8 inches), but as the plants grow larger, you can use one of these other recommendations. For temporary protection, cover and cut the bottoms of disposable cups or upside-down crates to hold and cover tender seedlings. They’ll still get sun and air circulation.

High-tech fake owls. Although I haven’t personally tried it, I know a lot of other gardeners who have. These imitation owls move—they actually spin—and make noises to frighten away would-be feathered intruders. To keep the birds on their toes, move the faux owl around the garden, just like you would with the mylar balloons.

Fishing line. Nobody really knows why this one works, but it does. If you have a row of seedlings, drive a stake into each end and then, directly above the row of plants, string 20 lb or more of monofilament fishing line from one stake to the other. Birds won’t approach your small vegetables for their midday snack because of something about this fishing line that bothers them.

Advice: Make sure to keep bird feeders far away from your edible garden if you have any. Avoid luring them in with an appetizer only to have them realize there’s a full entrée right around the corner. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”. vc_custom_1585242059265{border-top-width: 2px !important;border-right-width: 2px !important;border-bottom-width: 2px !important;border-left-width: 2px !important;border-left-color: #666b3a !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #666b3a !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #666b3a !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #666b3a !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;}” el_class=”locally-blog”][vc_column css=”. vc_custom_1584544935851{padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_row_inner equal_height=”yes” content_placement=”middle”][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″ url=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww. kellogggarden. com%2Fproducts%2Fkellogg%2Fkellogg-garden-organics-patio-plus%2F|||”][vc_single_ =”20817″ img_size=”full” css=”. vc_custom_1591985302524{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}” el_class=”locallyboximgnew”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_column_text el_class=”lcly-brand-name-new” css=”. vc_custom_1584544871848{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]Kellogg Garden Organics[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text el_class=”lcly-product-name-new” css=”. vc_custom_1591985345066{margin-bottom: 13px !important;}”]All Natural Garden Soil for Flowers & Vegetables[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Learn More” style=”custom” custom_background=”#561e2b” custom_text=”#ffffff” shape=”square” size=”lg” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww. kellogggarden. com%2Fproducts%2Fkellogg%2Fkellogg-garden-organics-patio-plus%2F|||” css=”. vc_custom_1584649186205{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}” el_class=”learnmorelocallyboxnew”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner el_class=”locallyboxnewright” width=”2/4″ css=”. vc_custom_1584548628684{padding-top: 0px !important;background-color: #666b3a !important;}”][vc_raw_html css=”. vc_custom_1591984589294{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]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 For a comparable product in these states click here. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text].


Do birds eat vegetable seedlings?

Seedlings are a common snack for birds. This means that hungry birds will eat your seeds before they can plant, flower, and harvest. Tip: Try planting seeds one half-inches into the ground so birds can’t get to them. Then protect the seedlings with seed tunnels.

How do I protect my pea seedlings from birds?

You probably have some plastic berry baskets lying around. Just turn them upside-down and set them over your pea seedlings. This prevents the birds from being able to reach the plant while it’s putting on its early growth.

How do you protect vegetable seedlings?

Cages and tunnels covered with plastic are quick ways to protect crops and extend the warmth needed for plant growth. Wire cages. Use cages–a small or large wire tomato cage will do–to protect tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and melons. Once a seedling is set out in the garden, put the cage in place around the plant.