10 Bird Feeder Landscaping Ideas For Healthier Birds And A Cleaner Yard

Have you noticed how difficult it can be to grow plants underneath your bird feeder successfully? If your birdseed includes a lot of sunflower seeds in the mix, you are not alone. 

man filling the birdfeeder with bright sunflower in front

This happens because the sunflower seeds you give your birds contain a toxin that makes it hard for other plants to grow. This is called an β€œallelopathic” effect.  

To add to your difficulties, the fallen seeds themselves can sprout, resulting in weeds. And did you know that old seed matter can make birds sick?

Thankfully, there are some simple but effective bird feeder landscaping ideas that can help you to remedy all of these problems. 

10 Bird Feeder Landscaping Ideas

Explore these unique ways to keep the birdfeeder area clean and create a healthier environment for your feathered friends.

bird feeders on tree stump

1. Put Down Paving Stones.

One simple idea is to give up on growing plants directly underneath the bird feeder altogether. Instead, think about laying down some paving stones. They look nice and neat, and you can sweep them clean easily.

2. Pour Concrete.

A similar idea to stop birdseed from growing under the feeder is simply to pour some concrete to create a small slab around the bird feeder. Once again, cleaning up seed debris is a breeze with this solution. 

3. Put Down A Tree Ring And Rocks.

Another option is to purchase a landscaping tree ring and set that on the ground below your bird feeder. Then, fill it with rocks or pebbles. This idea helps prevent weeds from growing and keeps the garden looking tidy.

Make sure that it can drain. You do not want to deal with soggy, rotting seed hulls. 

4. Grow Plants Under The Feeder That Will Survive.

There are actually quite a few different types of plants that can grow even if they are exposed to the toxins in sunflower seeds.

Some plants you could consider growing underneath your bird feeder include fairy roses (more on those later), creeping rosemary, lemon balm, mint, dahlias, irises, black-eyed Susans, and lupines. Those are just a few examples; there are many others. 

bright yellow black eyed Susan

5. Hang Your Bird Feeder Over Your Deck Or Patio.

If you want a barren, easy-to-clean area under your bird feeder, you do not necessarily need to build something; you could use what you already have.

Do you have a deck or patio? Think about simply positioning your bird feeder above either. That way, you can clear away the seed debris with ease. This idea will also help you keep a close eye on the bird feeder and the gathering seed hulls. 

6. Place The Bird Feeder Over A Rock Garden.

Depending on your climate zone and existing landscape, maybe you can create a rock garden somewhere in your yard. This would be an ideal spot to put a bird feeder in since weeds may have a more challenging time taking over. 

7. Mulch Under The Feeder And Plant Tall Flowers Nearby.

Something else that does a great job suppressing weed growth is mulch. Try putting some mulch down in the area directly below the feeder and extending out a little bit around it in every direction. 

Don’t like how the mulch looks? You can plant tall perennials directly around it to screen it from view during the growing season. Leave an opening large enough that you can get behind them to check out the area and do any necessary weeding or cleaning.

You can let the perennials go to seed for the birds to have something extra to eat in the fall and winter. Afterward, trim them back, and wait for them to return the following year. 

8. Try Planting Thorny Fairy Roses To Keep Away Other Animals.

Previously, we mentioned that fairy roses can grow in spite of the allelopathic effect of birdseed. Not only can these plants enhance the appearance of your garden near your bird feeder, but they offer another benefit too. Their thorns are a deterrent to other critters in your garden.

That means they can help to protect your birds from predators. Cats, for example, may stay away from the thorns, which means birds can eat in peace and safety.

9. Use A Seed Catcher.

While most of these landscaping ideas have focused on how to deal with fallen seed hulls, it is worth looking at steps you can take to prevent a buildup of seed debris in the first place.

You can buy commercial seed catchers to hang directly underneath your bird feeder. These products are designed to catch debris and prevent it from reaching the ground. You then have greater freedom to landscape under your bird feeder in any way you choose. 

10. Try Using No-Mess Birdseed. 

Did you know that you can also prevent many issues with birdseed in your landscaping simply by using no-mess birdseed?

Free of fillers and hulls, this type of birdseed should not result in weed growth, nor should it inhibit the growth of the plants you do want under your bird feeder. 

The drawback of no-mess birdseed is its higher cost in comparison to other types of birdseed. Depending on how much birdseed you buy, it might simply not be within your budget. That is when the other ideas for what to put under a bird feeder that we discussed above become indispensable.

Which Idea Is Your Favorite?

You have a variety of bird feeder landscaping ideas that can help you prevent weeds, grow beautiful plants, and prevent or simplify the clean-up of discarded birdseed hulls. 

Any one of these ideas should be a big help in managing your birdseed debris and in maintaining a beautiful landscape. Try combining a few ideas from this list for even better results. 

For even more ideas to attract more birds to your backyard and gardens, visit us at: GardenBirdFeeder.com

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birdfeeder landscaping ideas - with sunflower and man filling the feeder in background