I headed to my local garden center this week in search of Floating Row Covers (I blogged about them here). I got lazy, and drifted into the Home Depot parking lot instead since it’s closer. After a frustrating search on my own, then with the help of an employee, it was apparent the cupboards were bare. Sure, I could have come home and called around town or simply ordered row covers online, but I really wanted to find a solution pronto for my sunflower seed challenge: keeping squirrels at bay till the seeds grow.
I wandered the store looking for inspiration, and found a role of screening used to repair screen windows and doors. I still wasn’t sure what I would use to support the screening, but at least it would fit two of my requirements: it would allow air to circulate and the seeds would be easy to water. While kneeling in the aisles comparing materials and dimensions, I noticed adjustable window screens and had my ah-ha moment. They were perfect in every way. The light wood and aluminum frame offered the support I needed and the screen would deter the four-legged pests. Hurray!
With a bit of trial and hardly any error, the plan worked. I tied a pair of the adjustable screens together using garden twine. I folded them tee-pee style over the planter boxes and determined the angle and width of the sides. I made a template using the back side of one of last year’s calendar, then cut scraps of an old screen into the correct shape. Mike helped me staple those in place along the ends. I now have functional, reusable tents for my planters. The last step was to figure out a way to secure the tents to the planter boxes. I found my answer on my husband’s work bench: sliding window locks!
I will bravely plant more seeds this week. Once they emerge I’ll report back. Wish my luck.