Burlap is highly effective against the winds, so if you live in a windy region, then mulch and straw are not going to be very useful for you. The straw is going to be blown away once the wind starts to pick up speed.
It is exactly the reason why scarecrows have been so effective. Birds don’t want to be in the area where they have spotted their predators lurking around. They don’t care how tasty the birdseed seems. A fake owl, hawk, or even a rubber snake will work pretty fine.
These tapes are highly effective against grackles, pigeons, geese, woodpeckers, herons, blackbirds, and many others.
11. Hanging spiral bird deterrent
Any kind of sound will work, and here is another advantage that these noise deterrents have. They are almost inaudible for most humans because they are ultrasonic.
So these are essentially the noise tools for the birds but not for humans. So basically, your garden will be safe from any of those pecking birds.
You might be thinking that these sheets are too heavy and dense for the seeds to grow under them. But your grass seeds will do great under them. These sheets will allow the elements to penetrate and allow the seeds to get all the nutrients they need to grow.
When using mulch, it is better for you to use loose and light mulch. Hay or straw will be the most suitable option here. Such mulch will allow light and water to access the newly developing seeds.
Sterilized seeds are heated so that they die. If they fall on the ground they will not germinate and sprout.
Alternatively, I have seed directions to place 5 pounds of bird seed into a paper sack and cook in the microwave on High for 5 minutes. I have also heard some people have accidentally burned their bird seed this way. So try it for lesser amounts of time. Then put it in wet conditions (e.g., damp paper towel in bottom of a glass) for 7 days and see if it sprouts or not.
Cheap bird seed may be cheap for a reason. It may be stale and old. Birds may toss it aside looking for something fresh. Or they may abandon the feeder altogether. Birds will eat more of the fresh seed and not toss away the old. It is best not to store bird seed from one season to the next. Buy new.
Since it is sterilized it will not sprout under your bird feeder. This is a favorite food of small finches such as goldfinches, siskins, and house finches.
Feeders themselves don’t stop bird seed from sprouting. However, the bird feeder and how it is hung up can change the amount of seed falling to the ground uneaten.