Growing a Sunflower House

by Cynthia

It actually didn’t rain today! We were so happy! (Although it is suppose to rain tomorrow :-( .) We spent most of the day working outside trying to catch up on the garden and yard work.

One of the things we worked on this weekend was getting an area of the backyard ready to grow a sunflower house for the kids. I have been reading the book Roots, Shoots, Buckets, and Boots by Sharon Lovejoy and in it she describes how to grow a house made of sunflowers. I think this is just the neatest idea. What child (or adult for that matter!) wouldn’t love hiding out in a house made of sunflowers?

I am not following the book exactly- I’ve changed a few things but the basic idea is the same. The book tells you to make the house 6′ x 9′ and use three types of sunflowers. We decided to make our sunflower house 8′ x 8′ because it seemed to fit the yard better.

Beginnings of Sunflower House

First we dug a trench 6 inches deep and mixed in composted manure with the soil from the trench. Then we laid down some straw to act as the floor of the house. I planted mammoth sunflowers every 2 feet and in between them I planted corn. I thought it might be kind of fun to have the corn growing as the walls of the house as well as the sunflowers.

Carpeting :-)

When the corn and sunflowers get to be a few inches tall I will plant some morning glory seeds next to them and the morning glories can climb up them. Once the sunflowers reach their full height the book says to tie twine to the top of one sunflower and stretch it across the house to the opposite side flower. This will act as a trellis for the morning glories to grow across forming a roof.

Hopefully I will be able to keep slugs (and birds!) away from the emerging seeds. My nine year old son is already very excited about the idea of a sunflower hang out and can’t wait for them to start growing. In fact he had a blast today just lying in all the hay we put down! I really can’t wait to see how this little gardening experiment turns out.

I will definitely be posting updates on it as the summer goes by.

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