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Gardener’s native landscaping attempt brings unexpected encounter with wildlife: ‘How concerned should I be?’

“Not all will make it, that’s OK.”

"Not all will make it, that's OK."

Photo Credit: iStock

One gardener attempting to install a native plant lawn ended up accidentally providing a buffet for some local birds and turned to the r/NativePlantGardening subreddit looking for advice.

“Scattered native seeds as directed with corn meal, now flock of birds happily munching away, how concerned should I be?” the poster wrote. “I also scattered wheat straw over the planting area to protect the seeds from predation. But of course, the native birds are good at scooping away anything in the way of a good meal.”

While proponents of native plant lawns often cite their benefits to local wildlife and the ecosystem, seeds providing food directly to birds before they had the chance to grow into plants was clearly not what this gardener had in mind.

However, all hope is not lost, as the other members of the subreddit had plenty of encouragement and advice to share.

“The birds will frequent the area they find seeds in. Any undigested seeds will be dropped with its own fertilizer in that area,” wrote one commenter.

“Put out more than you plan, a good % is nature’s winter food. Not all will make it, that’s OK. Just plan for it,” wrote another.

Native plant lawns are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to traditional grass lawns. While grass lawns require excessive watering, often involve heavily polluting gas-powered mowers and leaf blowers, and discourage biodiversity, native plant lawns do the opposite

Native plant lawns create a healthy ecosystem for pollinators, which in turn benefits humans and all life. Some low-maintenance lawn replacement options in addition to native plants include clover lawns, buffalo grass, and xeriscaping.

And if you end up feeding some birds in the process, that’s certainly not the end of the world.

“Why would you be concerned — them birds is happy, leave ‘em be. Throw out more native seeds if you have a cold snap though. They like the expensiver kind,” another commenter wrote.

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