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Old Friday 8th August 2008, 18:19   #1
barnstormer
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Nyjer seed killing my lawn

Alright chaps and chapesses,ever since i put my large nyjer seed and sunflower hearts feeder up the dropped seeds have started growing thru my lawn and made it go sour and it smells, so i dug out the section of lawn,layed membrane and covered in large gravel then put seed trays on my feeders but the seed is starting to grow thru the gravel. Does anyone have any suggetions apart from not feeding..........
if i turn the gravel over every now and then will the groundfeeders pick out the growing chutes, or do i need to pick them out myself.
Has anyone else had this problem.
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Old Saturday 9th August 2008, 12:49   #2
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Yes, it can be quite a problem as the dropped seed always starts to sprout and birds don't eat it then. Instead of putting the membrane and gravel down, would you be able to leave it as bare soil? Then, if you can provide a second area the same, you could move the feeders from one spot to the other, whilst digging over the soil to bury the debris. Worms and such like would have a chance to clean up the mess.
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Old Saturday 9th August 2008, 13:51   #3
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Dunno what the missus would say about a bare patch but i don't really have the space for a secondary patch either but it's summat to think about,cheers........
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Old Wednesday 10th September 2008, 16:47   #4
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Even my chickens - who ate all other sorts of seeds that fell out of the feeders did not clear the nyjer - it is even between the onions as large plants - on the other hand I have had small sunflowers growing and flowering in the wall of the barns where birds have stashed seeds. - still no answer to your problem though, chickens are no good for clearing the seed!
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Old Monday 20th October 2008, 21:38   #5
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I had this problem with my lawn. I dug the area up and turned it into flower bed. The only way to deal with the sprouting nyger is the hoe the area over regularly which is a blooming nuisance but does the trick.
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Old Tuesday 21st October 2008, 06:33   #6
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We had problems with nyger as well and stopped using it several years ago. We just provide sunflower kernels (hearts) now. The Goldfinches love it plus there's no waste, no sprouting and of course most garden birds love them!
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Old Tuesday 21st October 2008, 09:26   #7
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I would probably stop using it myself if it wasn't for the fact i have about 12kg left in my box and the cost of the 20 post feeder,plus it gets full during the winter which is an awesome sight.Stuff is still growing thru the gravel so i think it might be best to use someones suggestion of just turning it over every now and then.I am looking forward to seeing my new 12 post seed feeder and my nyjer feeder in action and full of birds.
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Old Tuesday 21st October 2008, 11:09   #8
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Hi, I feed lots of Goldies so, use lots of niger seed. I had the same problem. I now constantly move the bird feeders to different areas of the lawn and mow regularly, any that sprouts doesn't last long as it can't withstand the mowing. So don't leave your feeders in one spot too long, move them once a week. What about winter? Well in the winter I use a large tarpaulin which I peg out under the feeders and clean up the mess once a week. You still need to move the feeders and tarpaulin otherwise the tarpaulin will kill the lawn. Every 2 - 3 weeks should do. This is the best solution I have come up with so far. To give you an idea of what I'm dealing with, I have four 20 port niger feeders, one 4 port niger feeder, ten 6 port seed feeders, 6 peanut feeders, 2 birdtables and a ground feeding station. In the winter I will go through a 12.5kg sack of niger in a fortnight thanks to the 150+ Goldies that flock in everyday!
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Old Thursday 15th January 2009, 12:09   #9
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Nyjer seems to be doing the same to my lawn. I have just recently got the 20 port Nyjer feeder(all the way from the UK it came). The Goldfinches covering all the ports truely is an awesome spectacle and I regularly see them sharing it everyday with over 10 Redpolls and just in the last week or two siskins are on it also.

With me the problem seems to be the nyjer just leaves patches of black on the lawn and the grass just dies, even after a week of having the feeder in a certain position there is a parch of black. Some good ideas on this thread though.
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Old Friday 16th January 2009, 09:33   #10
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I have to say since putting up my 12 port seed feeder the nyger seed feeder is virtually ignored,only getting one or two birds while the sunflower hearts get hammered.Too much choice and easier pickings i think.I turned over a small area of lawn and added a seed tray which helps a great deal with the nyger problem.
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Old Friday 16th January 2009, 12:14   #11
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I have been experimenting over the winter with putting some off-cuts of perspex (about 18"x24") under the seed and suet feeders. It's worked quite well, just a few seed bits missing the sheets. It means every couple of days they can be lifted and rinsed off, even disinfected. One of them is over a small area of grass, which stayed green as the light is let through; this wouldn't be as good in summer when the grass is actually growing, though perhaps worth trying. Don't know if this would be possible for you, Razorsharp?
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Old Friday 16th January 2009, 14:35   #12
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Excellent idea Mary, I will definatly get some perspex and give it a go, thanks.
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Old Saturday 6th June 2009, 08:54   #13
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Hello everybody, I am new to this birdfeeding caper, can somebody please tell me exactly what is Nyjer seed and where does it come from? I am trying to attract Golfinches etc. to my abode.
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Old Saturday 6th June 2009, 09:59   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WD40andahalf View Post
Hello everybody, I am new to this birdfeeding caper, can somebody please tell me exactly what is Nyjer seed and where does it come from? I am trying to attract Golfinches etc. to my abode.
You can read all about it on Wikipedia etc. but basically it is tiny black seeds sold as food for finches. The problem is that it needs special feeders, either with small slots in the tube to allow the birds to pick out the seeds, or special small ports. Neither of these systems are particularly effective and you end up with a lot of the seed being dropped and wasted. As this thread shows it does mess up the lawn too.

We tried a cheap Nyjer seed feeder with limited success but then bought some of the RSPB 'No Mess Sunflower Mix' to go in the normal feeders. The results have been brilliant. We now get Goldfinches, Greenfinches and Chaffinches, none of which visited before, and the Sparrows like it too. There is a lot less wastage than with the other seed mixes we have tried and any seed which falls to the ground soon gets eaten by Pigeons, Dunnocks, Sparrows and Starlings. It is a bit expensive but worth it as there is no waste.

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Old Sunday 7th June 2009, 21:16   #15
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I actually prefer to feed the Nyger because they never go to seed. Prior to the Nyger being imported(into North America), it's flash heated and that stops the germination process.

Now if they could only do that all the other seeds, it would be problem solved.
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Old Sunday 7th June 2009, 21:20   #16
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If the Nyger (that's not the original spelling - wonder why they changed it...?) is starting to sprout, then complain to the supplier as it's supposed to be heat-treated to stop it doing that as it's quite a pain to get rid of.

Hang on - they changed the name as they thought it might be considered racist:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niger_seed
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Old Monday 8th June 2009, 06:47   #17
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Originally Posted by colonelboris View Post
[...]

Hang on - they changed the name as they thought it might be considered racist:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niger_seed
Yeah, because as everyone knows, Racists can't spell.
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Old Tuesday 9th June 2009, 08:57   #18
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I have picked up some good tips and information on here, thank you to everybody. Have'nt seen any Finches on my Niger feeder yet though.
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Old Thursday 11th June 2009, 08:47   #19
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Suddenly on Wednesday afternoon a Goldfinch appeared, it stayed about 10 minutes the returned 20 minutes later with it's mate, now they are here nearly all the time. Great.
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Old Thursday 11th June 2009, 09:06   #20
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Suddenly on Wednesday afternoon a Goldfinch appeared, it stayed about 10 minutes the returned 20 minutes later with it's mate, now they are here nearly all the time. Great.
Nice one! It's a great feeling. It amazes me how they manage to spot the seed in the feeder and work out what it is.

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Old Friday 12th June 2009, 21:18   #21
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Thanks for those comments Ron, I am now waiting for a Bullfinch to pop in and say hello.
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Old Wednesday 17th June 2009, 05:03   #22
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Once you see sprout, just spray the area with white vinegar. Just keep some white vinegar in a spray bottle. White vinegar is a safe non-toxic weed killer (amoung other uses). I use it to kill weeds around my yard with great success. I have young children and don't want to use chemicals.
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Old Wednesday 17th June 2009, 20:02   #23
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Regaards the niger seed.

I have been using it for more than 3 years and never had any problems.
I do have a dish fastened at the bottom of the feeder which catches most of it but I think I would be checking a different supplier out.


Brian
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Old Wednesday 8th July 2009, 17:32   #24
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Anyone know how to stop squirrels from sucking out the nyger? I added paprika a year ago but that meant the finches stopped coming too.
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Old Friday 10th July 2009, 09:03   #25
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I had trouble with Squirrells too, cured the problem with a well aimed bucket full of cold water when they appeared, that taught the beggars a lesson, ain't seen 'em since.
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