Finally, I seem to have hit upon a way to grow sunflowers. My big problem…relentless foraging by chipmunks and squirrels. They dig the seed out of the ground, or if they somehow miss a seed or two, they nip off the top of the newly sprouted plant. Another trick that worked for me has been planting later in the season when other food is more abundant.
I planted the sunflower seeds in my Square Foot Garden. This area is enclosed by chicken wire. For some reason the squirrels stay out of this…perhaps it is the CD’s I have hanging from hooks that swing in the breeze and maybe scare them away.
My best deterrent has been to plant the seeds and then enclose the area in a gallon size ziplock bag. To do this, I cut the bottom of the bag away, then tape bamboo skewers inside the bag with duct tape. I make sure the sharp end of the skewers extends beyond the bottom of the bag about an inch or two. One problem with this method…the skewers are very sharp, even on the blunt top end. To remedy this I stick a clove of garlic on each top. I am pretty sure this also helped repel those bad chipmunks and squirrels.
I’m not sure if I planted early enough to enjoy blooms this year, but the plant is beginning to bud so I have high hopes.