How to prevent birds from eating your grass seed

Updated February 21, 2017

Anyone who has ever planted grass seed knows it requires quite a bit of soil preparation and daily care to get the seeds to germinate. Even if proper care is given, growing grass seed is not always successful. One reason for grass seed failure is because birds may eat the seed before it germinates. Since a newly seeded section of lawn is a buffet for birds, you should take protective measures to deter birds looking for an easy meal.

Lay three to four aluminium pie pans on a flat work surface. Use the tip of a sharp knife to create a small 3mm / 1/8-inch diameter hole at one end of each pan. You can place the hole in the raised side of the pan, or at the very edge of the flat part.

Insert a 60 centimetre / 2-foot length of string through the hole and tie it to itself in a knot just above the pie tin. The result is that the pie tin is attached to the long string and can spin freely.

Attach the free end of the string to a tree or other object at the perimeter of the planting location that will allow the pan to hang and spin freely. Tie the end of the string around the object, or use a small piece of duct tape if the object is plastic or metal.

Install the remaining pie tins in the same manner, spacing them out evenly around the area of grass seeds. You might even attach each pie plate spinner to a length of twine--evenly spacing each plate along the twine--and suspend the twine across the planting area between two trees or stakes.

Purchase a liquid bird repellent and place it into a garden sprayer. If you purchase a concentrated repellent, mix it with water as directed on the product packaging.

Spray the entire area that has grass seed with a light spray of the bird repellent solution. Repeat the application once per week, or after every rainfall.


Be sure to keep pets away from the seeded area. Although the liquid repellent is not toxic, it does not taste good, which repels the birds.


Visual bird repellents must be moved frequently to remain effective.

Things You'll Need

  • Aluminium pie pans
  • Knife
  • String
  • Push pin
  • Duct tape
  • Liquid bird repellent
  • Garden sprayer
  • Water (optional)
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About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.