Every spring to ensure there are sunflowers i collect soda bottles from my in laws (we don’t drink soda). i remove the label, & cut the top and the bottom off of each bottle thus creating a tube. after each seed is planted i smoosh one of these plastic tubes over top to protect the seedling (by smoosh i mean turn the bottle left and right until it’s dug itself into the ground where the seed is planted). by the time it gets above the bottle it’s nearly 8 inches tall and the bottom stalk that gets nibbled or eaten is still protected. so far (3 years now) it has ensured the seeds aren’t dug up/stolen and that the seedling doesn’t get eaten. i came up with this idea after many a failed attempt at sunflowers. i like to think my out of the box thinking is a badass.