In my last-ditch effort to keep the squirrels from decimating my sunflower crop again I came up with the idea of using sliding window screens and a bit of twine to create tents over the planting boxes. Guess what? It worked!!!
I completely replanted two boxes, but had a few surviving plants in the third. I tossed in a few extra seeds, in order to hedge my bets. In just three weeks, the seeds sprouted and most have set true leaves. The earlier plants are now as tall as the screens. Originally I thought I would completely remove the screen-savers once established. Now that the plants are up, I decided to leave them in place. I loosened the twine and lifted the leaves to the outside and they continue to thrive. I’m so happy.
The leaves have the same holes as they did last year, though I never saw the culprit and assumed snails. The damage, while not pretty, didn’t seem to hinder the plant’s growth. A friend stopped by this week and said she had seen birds pecking away at the leaves of her sunflower plants, so that could be it. I’ll keep you posted.
Here’s the screensaver on May 13th:
The screen saver today, June 6th:
You can find my screensaver tutorial here: