Sunday, May 12, 2013

How to Build a Sunflower House


Sunny section of yard 4X4 feet
20 Sunflower seeds (Giant variety)
20 Heavenly Blue morning glory seeds (or other color)
Patience from whomever mows your yard
Garden twine

In a sunny part of your yard, use a shovel to scrape the out line of a 4X4 square, leaving a 2 foot opening of unscraped earth in the center of one side of the square--this will be the door. The channel should be about 6 inches wide. Evenly plant Sunflower seeds and morning glory seeds around the square. When the sunflowers are large enough (about 50-80 days) and/or the morning glories have grow up to the top of the sunflowers, use garden twine to string a few zigzags across the square at the top of the sun flowers. This will give the morning glories something to grow across to form the roof.

Three rainy weekends in a row brought out lots of sprouts! 

Last year's sunflower stems mark the edges of the garden so it is visible to the mower. I think if I do this again I will give the sunflowers a week or two head start over the morning glories as the morning glories are dominating the growth. 

One Month

A little over a month of growth. The sunflowers are about knee high. 

Two Months

After two months, the Sunflowers are taller than a 3 year-old child. I have had to unwind some of the morning glories from the leaves of the sunflowers to keep the leaves from being choaked. 

WORD OF WARNING: If you have a wonderful caring spouse who tends your garden when you are too busy, warn him that the morning glories are NOT weeds which need to be removed from the sunflowers. He thought, perhaps rightly so, that the MGs were chocking the SFs. Thankfully enough MGs were speared that we should still be able to get some sort of  roof when I string the top with twine later today. 

Replanted morning glories today. 

Three Months

We have to keep unwrapping the morning glories from the flexible tops of the sunflowers. If we don't we end up getting twisted and bent growth rather than vertical sunflowers.  

Twisted Sunflower.

The sunflowers are now taller than I am. I had to use a few tall spiral stakes to straighten out the walls. We have had weeks of rain and very little sun so the sunflower are not very sturdy. 

Reinforce leaning walls with 3 or 4 tall spiral tomato stakes. 

I finally strung the roof. I tied the strings for the roof to the tops of the stakes rather than the sunflowers. The morning glories have started down the strings after one day. 

The roof training strings look like a spider's web. 

I'll update this with pictures as our sunflower house grows.