The Sunflower Diaries: Sunflower Seedlings, Bug Bites, and Allergies

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Actual footage from Tuesday morning. (You can see that I added compost to the soil.) For more photos, visit Instagram: @rache_eliz.

I’ve been spending a lot of time outside, walking and working in the yard, and I have the bug bites, sniffles, and sneezes to prove it. Still, I’m quite content with the time spent out-of-doors, despite the casualties I’ve suffered.

(I originally wrote this on Sunday, and now it’s Wednesday night, and I must confess that two of the bug bites I got are vicious. They still itch, blisters formed on top of the bites because I couldn’t leave them alone, and one turned into a bright red patch. Yes, this is TMI, but that’s what I get for sitting on the ground while wearing shorts. I turned myself into a snack.)

There have been a few casualties on the other side, which are not limited to several grubs I unearthed while prepping the soil for the sunflowers and a wasp that was attempting to make a new home on the front porch. I went to CVS on Monday, purchased repellent, and sprayed him. He didn’t come back. Serves him right; he chased me on Saturday.

On Monday, I finished the sunflowers’ big-kid bed. And, as of Tuesday morning, I am officially an empty nester! Before I brushed my teeth, I sprinted outside to plant my sunflower seedlings before the rain came. After I planted 16 (there are about four remaining, but I want them to spend a bit more time inside), I cut the bases off plastic water bottles and used them to cover the seedlings so that they’re cozy and safe from bunnies. Then, I scooted dirt around the bottles to keep them in place. I was glad I used the bottles because it rained a lot and the wind blew more than expected. I checked the plants today (Wednesday), and about four of the bottles had blown off. But, all of the plants (those with bottles and those without) seemed fine. It’s going to be sunny and dry for at least five more days, so there’s plenty of time for them to get used to their new environment and grow. I’m looking forward to seeing them change.

(To see the plants, check my Instagram account @rache_eliz.)

I planted 10 more sunflowers on March 27, and about eight of them are already growing. I want to see how well a different variety (American Giant Hybrid) would grow. I also planted beans, milkweed, and basil. One bean seed has a sprout. I feel like I am officially a horticulturalist.

Don’t worry, I won’t quit my day job. I was watching YouTube on Tuesday, and a woman said that most people who are new to gardening start out with sunflowers because they’re easy to grow.

That would be me.

To be continued…



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