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Mon May 4, 2015, 06:34 AM

Need advice without upsetting neighbor. RE Bird feeder

3 years ago, this great neighbor put up a bird feeder. I can see it from my window and love to watch. BUT:
Problem. Last years and starting again, I am growing a ton of strange weeds in my yard. Most are low crawling things that are choking the grass. Never saw them before.
I had a landscaper friend take a look and he told me the growth was from weed seeds in the feeder. According to the expert, these weeds are not native to my neck of the woods.

I don't want to upset my friend with a request to move the feeder. Maybe he is buying cheep seed. Perhaps if I explained and suggested another brand of seed, do you have any suggestions? His funds are as limited as are mine so $$ is a factor. Is this a problem with all seed brands?

The birds seem to drop their unwanted seed as they fly away, almost always in the direction of my yard.

If I use weed killer, how often can I use it?

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Reply Need advice without upsetting neighbor. RE Bird feeder (Original post)
Paper Roses May 2015 OP
eShirl May 2015 #1
postulater May 2015 #4
jtuck004 May 2015 #7
LunaSea May 2015 #2
Erich Bloodaxe BSN May 2015 #3
NJCher May 2015 #5
jtuck004 May 2015 #6
FloriTexan May 2015 #8

Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Mon May 4, 2015, 07:32 AM

1. I'd put in a rock garden before I'd put Roundup on anything

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Response to eShirl (Reply #1)

Mon May 4, 2015, 09:13 AM

4. Rocks are hard to grow.

I never had any luck with them.

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Response to postulater (Reply #4)

Tue May 5, 2015, 03:56 PM

7. You are too impatient. It takes millions of years to properly form them, so at best most folks can

 

just influence them, perhaps move them around a bit.

I dug a bunch up and used them to make raised beds, a walkway into a building, and filled a fountain for a flower arrangement.

A few decades from now someone will have to move them, and perhaps fondly remember how helpful I was to put them there for that special day.

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Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Mon May 4, 2015, 07:50 AM

2. Keep the weed killer as a last resort

If the neighbor is a friend, then chat with them and explain the circumstance. Perhaps the two of you could split a bag of better seed. Pulling up the offending invaders would be better than poison.

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Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Mon May 4, 2015, 08:23 AM

3. Sounds like a weird mix.

The usual 'by-blows' I get from my feeder are sunflowers and what I assume is millet, which both grow to 5-6 feet. Corn or cracked corn and peanuts are also possible, again, neither of which are low-crawlers. Did your expert actually tell you WHAT those particular weeds were? Most birdseed mix seeds come off of decent-sized plants, not things that hug the ground.

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Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Mon May 4, 2015, 10:29 AM

5. I don't think it's the bird seed

I have a bird seeder right outside my computer room window, and I've fed birds for over a decade now. There is a flower garden right outside this window. I'm a person who's very curious about weeds, and I look them up in a weed book or on the internet so I can fight it in the best way possible. I've yet to find a foreign weed in that garden, and I've used all types of bird seed, from the expensive to the inexpensive.

I have very little problem with weeds there. Plenty of seed falls out of the bird feeder, too--so much that the ground feeders, like the mourning doves, just feed off the ground.

Also, birds eat weed seeds, too.

I'm wondering if the bird feeder might attract some migratory birds who stop for lunch on their way to wherever. While they're at lunch, they also stop to use the restroom, so to speak, and might be leaving you some weed seeds from another area.

If you're up for it, take a pic of the weed and let's see if it can be identified.

Also, next time I talk to my aunt, I will ask her about this. She's been a bird feeder and gardener for 60 years, so she might have some input, too.


Cher

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Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Tue May 5, 2015, 03:17 AM

6. Maybe pull a few and figure them out? Or pull them up, drop them in a barrel and cover

 

with water. 3 days later pour it out on the garden as a feed.

If it is grains, the birds are planting new bird food for you for free. Offer to sell it back to your neighbor at a discount.

Weed killer - bah. But vinegar works well, and adding a tablespoon of dawn helps it get through the muck better. If you don't want anything growing on that spot, add salt. Soon, nothing will.

I sometimes feed birds in my garden, and those seeds sprout some interesting things. Mostly they just go into a compost heap.

I wonder if getting free or reduced price bread somewhere is an option? That can be crumbled and used for birds, I think, though if not this is where I will learn that.

But at least it wouldn't sprout.

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Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Thu May 7, 2015, 06:15 PM

8. Ask your neighbor if he would mind switching to just sunflower seeds...

The seedlings are easier to pull up and they aren't much more expensive. I love my birdfeeder but had the same issues when I used a seed mix.

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