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Bird Feeders: How to Keep Fallen Seeds From Sprouting

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    LESLIE: Gail in Florida, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    GAIL: Oh, hello. Thank you. I’m calling because I like to feed the birds and I have two birdfeeders hanging on a planter pole; on each side of a planter pole. It’s about four feet above the ground. And I have all kinds of birds; cranes sometimes come and eat. And the seeds end up on the ground and they’re growing, of course. And my husband put down plastic and rocks on top and that’s not working because it’s making such a mess with the seeds growing and I was wondering if you had an idea for me of what I could do for a platform there.

    TOM: So what’s the surface that you have right now?

    GAIL: It’s grass but he put down plastic and then he put large rocks, pretty rocks on – you know, make it pretty there.

    TOM: Right.

    GAIL: And the birds eat between the rocks most of the time but the thing is, the seeds grow when it rains. (chuckles) And …

    TOM: What if you created a little paver patio there? Is that a possibility?

    GAIL: A paver patio?

    TOM: Yeah.

    GAIL: Well, I was thinking of concrete. But see, the pavers would have in-between places.

    LESLIE: Well …

    TOM: Yeah, but if you do the base properly, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem, Leslie.

    LESLIE: Yeah.

    GAIL: What would you suggest?

    LESLIE: Well, here’s something else in addition to pavers. There’s something that you can find – I don’t know if you can get it at regular pet stores or bird stores; if you have to look at it at a home center – but there’s something called a seed catcher.

    GAIL: Seed catcher.

    LESLIE: And it looks like – it almost looks like a colander; you know, it’s like mesh screen material but it’s on a rigid, circular round and some of them are made to slide up posts and some are made to hang from the same hook that you would hang one from a tree and they sort of sit below.

    GAIL: Oh.

    LESLIE: That might be an easy fix. It might not look attractive with your birdfeeder so that maybe a paver area beneath it is the better solution there. But it’s worth a search just to see what you can find in your area.

    Now with pavers, you want to make sure that you prep the area below it; which means you kind of have to dig down. Maybe if you’re making a little square around your post, you want to remove the soil and the grass and go down a couple of inches and then you want to put some aggregate which is basically just a loose stone of assorted sizes and then sand and then your paver on top. And there’s a great product by QUIKRETE called JOINT-LOCK which is a locking sand that you sort of brush over the pavers and then wet with a hose and it sort of locks all the pavers together so whatever seeds do land on there, you can just sweep right up rather than sort of getting …

    GAIL: That sounds good. Oh, well those are all good. I appreciate it very much.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Gail. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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