Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cat in My Sunflower Garden

This morning when I came outside to remove the protective landscape fabric from my sunflower garden, I couldn't believe my eyes! It was a cat in my sunflower garden, sitting there quite proudly. I normally feed the orange male tabby cat early in the morning. Lately, I have had to diplomatically separate the food dishes to keep the black male cat from chewing on the orange tabby.

Orange Male Tabby Cat Sitting in my Sunflower Garden ~ JaguarJulie
Orange Male Tabby Cat Sitting in my Sunflower Garden ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: April 14, 2014
For the most part, the tabby missed sitting entirely on the fourth row of tiny sunflower seedlings. The previous morning, after removing the landscape fabric, I found the top of a seedling snapped off in that fourth row. Now I know that it was the cat!

CAT IN MY SUNFLOWER GARDEN - 2013

This wasn't the first time that I found that orange tabby in my sunflower garden. I would find him sitting amongst the sunflower plants early in the morning waiting on his feeding.

Orange Male Tabby Cat Sitting in my Sunflower Garden ~ JaguarJulie
Orange Male Tabby Cat Sitting in my Sunflower Garden ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: Spring 2013
What is curious is that the tabby cat was sitting in about the same location in 2013! But, back then, the plants were bigger.

Orange Male Tabby Cat Walking Through my Sunflower Garden ~ JaguarJulie
Orange Male Tabby Cat Walking Through my Sunflower Garden ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: Spring 2013
In the 2013 sunflower garden, there were only three rows of plants and they were spaced further apart. Also, there were less plants than this year's garden. Back then, I had no issues with digging critters, so I wasn't using the protective landscape fabric like I am in my 2014 garden!

Orange Male Tabby Cat Sitting in my Sunflower Garden ~ JaguarJulie
Orange Male Tabby Cat Sitting in my Sunflower Garden ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: Spring 2013
Ah, look at that sweet face? In the Spring of 2013, this tabby was looking a LOT better than this year. The black male cat has been chewing on this cat like crazy!

Thinking positively, I can only hope that the tabby doesn't sit on too many of my tiny plants. At the moment, I am doing my best to protect the garden from digging critters. You'd think that tabby would be around to scare them off?

Well, might as well celebrate the cat in my sunflower garden. That got me thinking ... what if I place some cat sculptural garden statues in and around my flower garden. Would that perhaps discourage the tabby from sitting there? Hey, maybe it would also scare off those digging critters?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunflower Seedlings at Thirty Days

It has been a month of thirty days since planting my flower garden of four rows of sunflower seeds. Time for measuring the sunflower seedlings. By now, I think I can call some of these sunflower plants as they seem a little large to be called "seedlings."

Sunflower Garden Four Rows of Seedlings at 30 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Sunflower Garden Four Rows of Seedlings at 30 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: April 13, 2014
I captured a photo of the sunflower garden from the other direction. You can see a lot of growth in the two rows on the left. There are plenty of sunflower seedlings in the two rows on the right - much more than last year's crop!

SUNFLOWER SEEDLING MEASUREMENTS

Our first measurement of the sunflower seedlings was taken one week ago, April 6th, at twenty-three days. At that time, the measurement stood at 6 inches wide by 7 inches across by 6 inches tall.

Sunflower Seedling Height of Twelve Inches at 30 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Sunflower Seedling Height of Twelve Inches at 30 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: April 13, 2014
With the tallest sunflower seedling reaching a height of twelve inches, or one foot, at thirty days, I am confident we can now call this a sunflower plant! That is double the growth in one week or seven days time! Not bad.

Sunflower Seedling Width of Nine Inches at 30 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Sunflower Seedling Width of Nine Inches at 30 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: April 13, 2014
The sunflower seedling I measured had a leaf width of some nine inches. At least the height was no surpassing the width.

Sunflower Seedling Width of Ten Inches at 30 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Sunflower Seedling Width of Ten Inches at 30 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: April 13, 2014
The second measurement on the leaf width across came in at ten inches. The leaf clusters wide and across are still tracking pretty uniform measurements and growth.

Comparing our two measurements:

  1. 23 days - 6 inches wide by 7 inches across by 6 inches tall
  2. 30 days - 9 inches wide by 10 inches across by 12 inches tall

It is curious to note that the width and across measurement both increased by 3 inches whilst the height increased by 6 inches - that is two to one growth on the height to width of the sunflower seedlings.

SUNFLOWER SEEDLINGS AS TALL AS THE DECORATIVE EDGING!

Sunflower Seedling Height of Twelve Inches at 30 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Sunflower Seedling Height of Twelve Inches at 30 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: April 13, 2014
This past week, I replanted the sunflower seedlings from the three backup pots into the four rows in my sunflower garden. I filled in the "bare" spots with seedlings. With the growth throughout the four rows, I had to change up my protective covering of the sunflower seedlings at night.

Lowe's Liners and Weed Barrier Cloth Protecting Sunflower Seedlings ~ JaguarJulie
Lowe's Liners and Weed Barrier Cloth Protecting Sunflower Seedlings ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: April 12, 2014 pm
I've been using the three lengths of the black weed barrier cloth to cover the three rows of sunflower seedlings. The cloth is light enough to carefully place one length centered over the seedlings. In my fourth row, with the least growth, I have used four Lowe's liners. I am contemplating purchasing another roll of weed barrier cloth so that I can have one length for each of the four rows.

Each evening and morning, with the put down and take up of the protective covering, it has been a little workout with the placement of the brick pavers.

Sunflower Seedlings Prospering at 30 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Sunflower Seedlings Prospering at 30 Days ~ JaguarJulie
Photo Taken: April 13, 2014
I took that last photo right after I removed the weed barrier cloth in the morning. That's fifteen days of putting down and taking up the protective coverings! You can see that the sunflower seedlings -- er, sunflower plants -- are prospering at thirty days. Compare that growth to the sunflower seedlings of six days! Quite a difference.

This experience is all thanks to Burpee! I started with their sunflower seeds in 2013 and then harvested my own seeds. This year's sunflower garden is from my harvested seeds entirely! This year, I'm anxious to see if I can attain the same heights of seven to eight feet along with the beautiful array of sunflower blossoms. Gosh, I wonder when we will see that first blossom and will it be yellow or orange or red?

Hey, why not make a little sunny magic in your garden. Start with Burpee Sunflower Seeds available at Amazon. I suggest picking a variety of at least three different packages. Try the taller ones like I did!