How To Clean Ground Under Bird Feeders

Date Published: August 1, 2021
Author: Kylee Smith

Allowing birdseed to gather and spoil on the ground causes a host of problems. Wasted seed can change the pH levels of your soil, cause mold and mildew to grow, invite unwanted critters, and much more. Bird feeders are designed to make the birds in your yard happy, but you do not want to sacrifice your landscape. Knowing how to clean under that bird feeder and discovering how you can keep it clean indefinitely is the key to happy, healthy birds and a beautiful lawn.

Supplies For Cleaning Under Bird Feeders

Wasted birdseed can cause unwanted weeds to grow, too. Keeping the area under your bird feeders clean does not take a lot of work; however, you must know what to do so you can avoid problems in the future. Cleaning under your bird feeder can be completed in three easy steps, and only requires a few simple tools.

Gardening Gloves

Gardening gloves are necessary for working with and picking up the debris underneath the bird feeders.

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Mulch

Mulch is used under the bird feeder to help make the cyclical cleaning process much easier, and it also beautifies your landscape.

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Rake

A rake is used to help turn the mulch and clean up the area under the bird feeders.

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Weed Eater

A string trimmer is necessary for trimming the grass around the mulch. You want this grass to be kept shorter than the rest of your lawn.

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Cleaning The Ground Under Your Bird Feeders

Routinely taking the time to rake, trim and clean the area surrounding your bird feeders keeps the work required to a minimum. Follow this quick three-step process to clean up under your bird feeders and make cleaning much easier the next time.

Step One: Rake Up All Debris Under Bird Feeder

Before adding mulch, you first need to rake up the debris under your bird feeder. With gardening gloves on, pick up the debris and place it in a trash bag.

  • Pro Tip: Baffles help ensure squirrels do not jump onto your bird feeders. Not only do they keep the squirrels from feeding and spilling food, but they also protect against harsh weather.
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Step Two: Spread Mulch Under Feeders

The layer of mulch underneath your bird feeders should be three to four inches thick. Use the rake to spread the mulch evenly.

  • Pro Tip: When you repeat this cleaning process the next time, turning the mulch is Step One. Additionally, keep an eye out during future cleanings for when you need to add more mulch.

Step Three: Weed Eat Grass Around Mulch

The grass around the mulched area needs to be kept shorter than the rest of your lawn. Trimming this grass shorter makes cleanup easier.

  • Pro Tip: It is also advised to mow with a collector bag regularly around the mulch.

Final Thoughts

Routinely cleaning under your bird feeders makes this more of a maintenance task than a cleaning task in the future. A quick three-step process is all that is required to keep the birds happy, the varmints away, and your landscape looking gorgeous.

FAQ: Cleaning Under Bird Feeders

Just like with the baffles, there are other tips and tricks for maintaining the area underneath your bird feeders. Staying on top of this area makes clean-up time easier and keeps the birds coming back unaffected by varmints and bully birds.

Is there a product that helps speed up the decomposition of wasted seed?

Yes, a natural enzyme spray can help to speed up the decomposition of wasted birdseed. While both using and turning the mulch regularly buries the seed to allow for decomposition, the natural enzyme spray is still a good idea. Remember to read labels regarding children and pets.

What else can you do besides use baffles to keep the rodents away?

Use no-waste bird food, as this helps to minimize wasted seed. Therefore, the temptation for rodents is significantly reduced. Purchased hulled seeds, such as shelled peanuts and sunflower hearts.

Is there anything you can do to encourage ground feeding of spilled seed?

Leave the bird feeders empty for a couple of days. This encourages the birds to clean up the ground. Using no-waste bird food double-teams this objective.

Should you move bird feeders around occasionally to help with natural cleanup and decomposition of the wasted seed?

Yes, rotating bird feeders allows for a more natural cleanup process. While this makes your job easier, mulch, baffles, and everything else mentioned are still necessary.

Can you add cayenne pepper to birdseed to keep rodents away?

Not only is cayenne pepper a deterrent, but so are peppermint oil and chili flakes. These are natural deterrents, and rodents find their smells offensive.

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