Patio Gardening 2011: Week 2 – Scaring Birds Away


This has not been the best week in patio gardening history. This time last year we had seedlings popping up. Sadly this is not the case this year. Instead we just have pots of dirt.

Why is this? Who knows. I have a few theories.

First, once we planted the seeds last weekend the weather here in Chicago was just awful. Temperatures were in the 30s and it was cloudy and rainy almost every day. Even though we’re starting most of the seeds indoors, the lack of sun and cooler weather has probably effected them. So this is what we have:

We’re not discouraged yet. We plan to wait patiently for our little seedlings to (hopefully) emerge. In the meantime, the boyfriend is starting a back up plan to germinate some of the seeds in ziploc bags. Either way hopefully something will grow! This is super frustrating since we had no trouble starting seeds last year and actually had more seedlings than we could plant.

In other not so great news, we’re having problems with birds this year. We didn’t really have any problems last year because we started all of our seeds indoors. This year, apparently, our patio is a birds paradise. For about a month now, sneaky birds have been stealing bits of our coconut fibers from some of our planting baskets to build their nests. I’ve caught several in the act.

I wasn’t too worried about this–mostly just annoyed. Then today they really pissed me off. A few hours after I went out to water the strawberries and the spinach seeds, I came out again to get ready for today’s plantings, and I saw the birds had dug holes in all of the spinach pots and the strawberry pot too. (Unfortunately I was too mad to take pictures.)

Now we’re building bird scaring away devices (using strings and old CDs) and hopefully that will help keep them away for awhile. I think we’ll also look into getting a fake owl or something.

Today, in addition to replanting the spinach, we did a pot of carrots (we plan to do a second planting in two or three weeks) and a basket of mixed greens. Still on the planting agenda: basil and (a new addition) dill. Maybe that will happen next week. We’ll see what the weather is like.

It’s going to be warmer this week (40s and 50s), but another week of rain in the forecast, so hopefully the little seedlings will get enough sun to get going. If not, then I don’t know what will be the next step in our plan.

Anyway, check out our video for this week (where you can get a glimpse of the boyfriend’s ziploc bag system):

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