The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Keeping sunflowers from the critters

Basket of sunflower heads

Last year, our sunflowers had trouble germinating (or, more likely, critters ate the sprouting seeds). This year, Mark had the bright idea of starting seeds inside and transplanting, which worked like a charm.

On the other hand, a week and a half of daily rain during harvest time meant I put off cutting heads in hopes they'd dry rather than cardinals got half the ripening seeds. What's your bright idea for next year, Mark?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I thought you had put plastic bags over them? to keep the bugs and birds away? but then, maybe that would contribute to mold.
Comment by hilary Wed Aug 10 08:10:07 2016
On another blog I read, the gardener put 1 layer of cheesecloth over the ripening sunflower heads to keep the birds from getting them before she could.
Comment by kara Wed Aug 10 22:20:33 2016
I had great success with pantyhose. Buy the footies in a box online or buy cheapy 10 packs of knee highs and cut half the length off. Stretch the foot over the flower head before the birds start in, and tie as needed to keep the foot in place. Works great. No mold and mostly the birds are deterred.
Comment by Jennifer Thu Aug 11 10:39:23 2016

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