Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Sunflowers, 0. Creatures, 3.
Every year I've lived here, I've planted all sorts of sunflowers along the fence line just behind my potager. The first year was the greatest success, and I was able to enjoy some sunnies I had rescued in the nick of time: dwarf, teddy bear, chianti. But even then, it seemed that if the birds and squirrels didn't eat the seeds, the rabbits would graze the seedlings. Last year, I bypassed direct sowing altogether (which is my preferred method for most things), and planted some little starters I had coaxed along. Not one made it, even with my efforts at protecting the area with a net and then each seedling with rings of stakes. Ironically, the potager is literally one step away yet its bounty remained untouched. So, this year I decided I would just let nature sort it out again. I emptied four packets of sunflower seeds and my saved seeds from my lone successful year into an empty jar, along with moonflowers and nasturtiums, mixed them with a shake, and planted them along the fence row. I had read that rabbits detest garlic, so I planted a row of garlic, and for good measure, a row of onions in front of my seed line. Then, for experimental purposes, I crumbled handful after handful of dried red peppers around. I thought the combined smells would deter les lapins, without the nonsense of me driving to the store and purchasing a bag of dried blood. So far, I am seeing the moonflowers' leaves unfurl, a profusion of nasturtium, and nothing else. Bummer.