Bird feeders are a great way to observe wildlife; however they can make a big mess. Not only do they litter the ground with unpleasant debris, but they can also poison other plants living beneath your feeder and they may start unwanted growth. An individual can avoid the toxins of seeds and the undesirable sprouts by purchasing the more expensive no-mess blend bird-seeds. These bags contain nontoxic seeds and previously removed hulls. Unfortunately, these bags can be pricey. The sprouts of new plants easily overrun the surrounding grass. Fountains are expensive and have to be cleaned regularly. Shrubs are effective, but they are also a great hiding place for predators that will snatch up the birds while they snack. Honestly, the best option is stone.
Using stone beneath a bird feeder is the best way to battle the problems created by these messy eaters. With a stone landscape, seeds are easily cleaned up and unwanted growth is avoided. Start by digging a hole around the feeder. Make it about three to four feet wide and three to four inches deep. If seeds are getting flung further than four feet, the hole can be widened as much as necessary. This is at the discretion of the property owner. Next edge the area with plastic and spikes. Make sure there are no plants sprouting or grass growing. If there are, be sure to completely remove them. Then cover the area in tarp and mulch to prevent seeds from hitting fertile soil. Finally, place the stones on top. Initially, the stone may look odd, but as the grass around it grows closer, and excess mulch washes away, it will look beautiful and neat.
Basically, birdfeeders, though they bring beautiful creatures, create large messes. The best way to prevent unwanted growth is to create a stone surface beneath the feeder. Stone is easily cleaned of fallen husks and seeds. A quick sweep, or gust with the leaf blower will leave the area neat and presentable. If stone is not a viable option, shrubs and wildflowers may provide adequate ground covering, though they may not respond well to any toxins in the seeds. There are some shrubs and flowers like holly and sunflowers that are not affected by the toxins. However, weeding will still be necessary. If shrubs are used, it is necessary for the safety of the birds that predators cannot hide amongst the branches. After all, the main purpose of a bird feeder is to provide food for these winged friends, not leave them open to attack. Stone is truly the best option.