The crow sat in the garden
Gorjikov / Getty pictures
When you look at your garden, there are usually a few birds lurking nearby. In many ways, these creatures are a welcome addition to your outdoor space. “In addition to being pleasing to the eye, they can also prey on harmful pests,” star said ® Kristen Pullen, Rose’s wood ornamental product manager and international business assistant, explained. However, there are some disadvantages to letting birds fly freely in your yard: birds feed on vegetation, dig holes in the soil when looking for worms and grubs, eat pollinators, and leave feces on the garden structure. For these reasons, some gardeners prefer to keep birds away from their scenery – if you’re one of them, you may be looking for a solution that suits you. To help, we turned to two landscape experts who shared the best tips for keeping birds out.
Related: the most common bird you’ll see in the backyard – and one of the rarest!
Use butterfly nets in your garden
Setting up physical barriers, such as butterfly nets, is an effective way to keep birds away from the garden. To install it effectively, prEN said to raise the net rather than put it directly on your plant to prevent birds from falling on it and pecking directly. “Fix the net to a wooden pile or curved structure, such as PVC pipe, to form a net tunnel over the plant. Make sure all sides are covered,” prEN explained. When buying a net, please look for holes less than 1 cm in diameter to avoid hurting birds and ensure that the net can be pulled out. “It’s also important to choose a variety of UV resistant nets so that they don’t break down due to sunlight. UV resistant varieties can be stored and reused every year,” she said.
Place reflective items near plants
In addition to the physical structure, there is also visual deterrence, and the Plon notes are also very effective in keeping birds away. “These items have reflective surfaces that can move in the wind, giving the impression of a predator,” she said. You can stick a windmill in the garden soil or hang a CD on a tree, said Adrienne R. roethling, director of the Paul J. ciener botanical garden. She saw gardeners doing this to keep birds away. Although this is not the most beautiful solution, roethling points out that motion and reflective lighting can “scare birds”.
Add (toy) predators to the mixture
In addition to reflective items, you can also implement other bait predators in the garden to prevent birds from pestering your plants. Popular choices include plastic owls, snakes and even scarecrows. However, if you go this way, please be sure not to underestimate the wisdom of local birds. If they don’t move often, they will realize that these items are not real. “Moving predators in the yard [entices birds to think] they are alive and can appear in the most unexpected places,” rotlin said.
Install a bird feeder in your yard
Although hanging feeders to stop birds seems counterintuitive, they can be effective when placed far enough away from the species you need to protect. “Bird feeders are great,” roethling confirmed. He also pointed out that you should look for options to encourage less annoying birds. If the goal is to introduce non-destructive species such as purple Martin, Bluebird and Finch, you should provide an encouraging habitat for them to visit your feeder. Roethling shared that it may also help keep mocking birds or mourning pigeons – unwanted bird visitors – away.
Plant flowers to stop birds
Just as you can prevent insects from swallowing your garden, you can use protective plants to prevent some birds from invading your landscape. For example, pigeons, which usually feed on cabbage plants, do not like to pass through densely planted spaces. “You can plant thick annual flower borders around the garden area you want to protect, but combining them with nets or visual deterrence will ultimately provide the best protection,” prEN shared, taking a multi pronged approach.