Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Deer Ate my Homework

This summer we are still doing some school. It is relaxed. We are working on spelling, speed on the multiplication tables and writing. I also like to do outdoor "projects" in the summer. One thing we wanted to do this summer was to build a sunflower house.

The basic idea of the sunflower house is you plant sunflowers in a square then plant something climbing, like beans or morning glories, to climb up and between the sunflowers to make walls. I think I originally read about this in a magazine, but then Googled it to find some plans. There are lots out there.

We had to use a site a good distance from our house because our "garden area" near the house is still part of the "construction zone" that my dad and Tim are working on. We started seeds in pots and then transplanted them to the area.

After about a week the deer had nibbled about half. We went ahead and planted the beans, thinking that if we didn't get a house we could at least get some good beans and sunflower seeds to eat. The beans sprouted and were getting to be a couple of inches. Then for some reason the deer decided to come back. They demolished the sunflowers! They left the beans alone, for now!
The crazy thing is we have zucchini and squash planted even further from the house and they haven't bothered it at all. The only difference is we spread our rabbit's droppings for fertilizer there. So do deer not like squash or does the scent of rabbit (?!) keep them away?

My mom read that Native Americans use to put human scent around their fields to keep the deer off. One way was after working in the fields they would take off their clothes and drag them around the field. Another way was to "mark their territory" if you know what I mean. I am not quite ready to go naked with the sunflowers, but I am encouraging the boys to let it flow out there! We also may put out some more rabbit stuff. We will see if any of the sunflowers come back, if not, we will need poles for our beans.


  1. We used to take our dogs with us to the garden and had no problems with wildlife. We left for 2 weeks, taking the dogs with us, and when we got back, we had obviously had 4-legged visitors.
    Aunt Nancy

  2. Thanks for commenting on my post at larger families!

    Mary, mom to many

  3. Try using human hair (we get it at the barber shop) to keep deer out of the garden. It works!! Just put it around the outside of the garden.

    Aunt D.

  4. Rats Tim just gave the boys buzz cuts a few days ago. There was plenty of hair there! I think I will try that idea!