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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Grow your own Sunflower House!!

Thanks Bella for featuring my Sunflower Hut! : )




A few years ago we started a new summer tradition - we plant a sunflower house! It's fun for the kids, educational, teaches them responsibility as they must keep it watered and weeded, and it has a fun reward at the end of summer - a place to play, sunflower seeds, beans and pretty flowers!   It's really easy and so much fun!

Here's how we do it:

In April (or after last frost) mark an 8 x 8 foot square (or larger) where you want your sunflower house.  You can go ahead and place landscaping fabric in the middle to keep weeds away if you'd like, or add it later as needed.   Leave a space about a foot wide for a door somewhere!! Next buy 5 or 6 or more packets of various sunflower seeds, but make sure at least one packet has mammoth sunflower seeds! They grow TALL, and form the walls of your house! 

Look for flowers that grow to a variety of heights, too - some 12'. some 6', some 4', some 2' etc. That way it will be thick and full!  We got some smaller sunflowers for cutting,  plus Lemon Queen, Chianti & Red Sun (couldn't find the Strawberry Blonde ones this year, but these are both a pretty red!) and other varieties.  Also buy one or two packets of morning glory seeds, (we got regular & giant) and one or two packets of beans! This year I bought Kentucky Blue Pole beans.   Lowes, Home Depot & Wal-mart all have a variety of seeds for under $2 a packet!  We also bought a biodegradable weed control fabric and the tiny little stakes that go with it - those were about $13 total at Lowes.

You'll put one mammoth seed per packet directions (make sure to follow the directions on spacing them apart - they need room between!  Then go back and randomly plant the other sunflower seeds between and around the mammoth seeds.    Finally add the morning glory and bean seeds at various spots around your house perimeter. Make sure to keep them watered well.  Watch for sprouts!  Tick tock, tick, tock...days will go by.  Ours took 4 days to sprout little plants!


These pics are from 2008 ~ look how tiny my little David is in these!! Now that he's 7 he looks a lot more grown up!

Just planted our seeds!


A few days later - sprouting plants!

Different varieties grow side by side in perfect harmony! : )

Keep them watered!!



Add landscaping cover to keep weeds out of the middle!


Getting bigger!


WOW! Everything is growing so fast!

love it!

Strawberry Blonde Sunflower

See all the different plants? Beans, Morning Glories and Sunflowers!!

Starting to look like a sunflower house!


We added some stakes for everything to grow around and add height, not sure if you can see them in any of the pics!


My little guy loves growing a sunflower house!
Found one more - it's about a week later than the pic above - we had driven to the doctor's office in Suwanee, then stopped at Fresh Market on the way home for their awesome cupcakes! Mmmm.  The sunflowers were finally taller than D!


Still needs about 4 weeks to finish growing, but look how tall! The flowers eventually get to be about 6 - 8" in diameter (just the seed pod part!!)

 And here's where I confess to being a TERRIBLE mom.  The last few photos above were taken the first week of August, when our kids go back to school.  After that, life got CrAzY.  I never took another sunflower house photo - not ONE!  And I didn't take the first picture of our house in 2009.  2010, we skipped planting one at all.   However, this year's sunflower house is already planted and the little seedlings are already out and soaking up the glorious sunshine!  I PROMISE I'll take lots of pics, through the whole process, because I want you to see how gorgeous this sunflower house looks fully grown!!

So to sum it up ~ you'll have beans for eating, morning glories to add beauty to the yard, and the gorgeous sunflowers! It's a hideout for the kids (and maybe a bunny or two!?) and also a cutting garden for mom towards the end of summer! We even saw evidence that the deer from our woods were carrying entire sunflowers/seeds back into the woods behind our house for eating! Not to mention the birds who will eat seeds too! Your yard will be popular with kiddos, birds, and animals! lol

PLEASE send me your pics or a link to your blog about it if you plant a sunflower house - I can't wait to see them!!

UPDATE:  Found a couple 2009 pics  -  but again, petered out on taking pics once school started - it's a pattern with me! lol

Here is a June 2009 pic - we used stakes from the get-go that year so the plants would grow right up on them and be sturdier.   Not sure why DH had one in the middle like that - lol!



  Here is a picture from July 09~ about the same time - it's the first week of August, when my teenage stepson Robert was getting ready to go home to Arizona after spending the summer with us. The pic was of the kids, but the sunflowers were probably about 4' tall. I shot over them, but at 5' tall, I still got them in the shot! The sunflowers are getting tall and you'll see how the greenery from the stems and leaves provides a "wall", but this still had a good 4 weeks or so to grow.  This year we planted earlier than ever - I want to have the hut fully grown before school starts!!

Update:  I'm not sure why,  but our hut never really grew taller than knee height this year. : (  It may be because we used the same area each time?  Maybe the nutrients in the soil were just worn out?   Probably won't do this in 2012 because my kiddos are getting too big, they never even went out there this summer to play.  : (  Makes me sad.....








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14 comments:

  1. Aimee this is just awesome. I wish you had pics of the end result, can't wait to see how it turns out. Can you please tell me what the cost of all the seeds were, and you said you already planted yours, but is it ok, if I just do it now? Where did you get your seeds from, and how long does it take for everything to grow in.

    This is a fabulous idea. Thanks for sharing.

    I'd love if you linked this up. Stop by anytime to say hello!!!

    Oh and when shall we make a goodwill trip already, lol. Hope you are well.

    Hugs,
    Bella :)**AMAZE ME AUGUST** @ Bella Before and After
    Hugs,
    Bella :)

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  2. Thanks Bella! We just planted ours last week, so you can do yours now, for sure! The plants come up in about 4 days! It takes several months to get them fully grown but the mammoth seeds are 10 - 12 FEET tall! (Perfect for making a house!!) I got the seeds at Home Depot & Walmart. Walmart they were $1 a pack - got three types of sunflower seeds there, and one at Home Depot - more like $2 a pack there. Beans are (I think) called runner beans? And the morning glories are easy to find. Those packs are about $1 each. : )

    We do need to meet up soon! Crazy that we live so close! : ) I'll link up with the Amaze Me August linky too! Are you ready for school to be out? Only 5 more weeks - yay!

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  3. Great site. I am a new follower from the blog hop. Come and visit me at www.runninglovingliving.com

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  4. Awesome!!! I found you on MB please follow http://sweetcalifornialiving.blogspot.com/

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  5. new follower for the blog hop. be sure to enter our Alexa Hop this week:
    http://www.spearmintbaby.com/2011/04/alexa-blog-hop-421-427.html

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  6. That looks like such a fun project! I too am a terrible mum... I think this looks great, but know in all reality I'll never get around to it.
    I am looking forward to seeing your pics of the "finished" house.

    Stopping in from the Alex Hop. Here's a link to my post if you want to check it out: http://www.mapleleafmommy.com/2011/04/check-it-out-independent-interviews.html

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  7. HI Aimee

    What an awesome project! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on blog advertising - hope you'll stop by each week to share your thoughts on the current topic! I am sharing the Alexa love with you!

    Ramona
    http://create-with-joy.com

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  8. Your newest GFC Follower visiting you back from The Steady Hand. Thanks for stopping by. Love the flowers...hopefully mine start growing soon or else I will just be having a green yard this year.
    http://thesteadyhand1.blogspot.com/

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  9. Love this idea! I really want to plant some sunflowers. They remind me of my Papaw. They were his favorite flower. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm following you now.

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  10. What a fun idea! Sunflowers are a favorite flower of mine!

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  11. What a fun way to watch your flowers to grow!!! BLOG HOPping around with Alexa - I am now a follower of your blog, wont you also follow me?? ~KM
    Krafty Max Originals

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  12. Thank you so much, Aimee! You are very sweet! I'm glad you liked the recipe and hope you had a Happy Easter! Also, I really like your sunflower house idea. I will have see if sunflowers are resistant to my black thumb! : )

    -Lauren from www.myopenfridge.blogspot.com

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  13. what great photos. cant wait to see how tall they grown!

    ~anna from randomhandprints.com

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  14. Hey girl,

    You know I was totally in love with this idea, and can't believe I haven't seen it before, lol.

    I so wish I could start this, do you think it's too late???

    I loved it so much I FEATURED you, I hope it puts a smile on your face.

    Come grab a button girl, and display it proudly!

    **Features from week #33 & #34** @ Bella Before and After

    Thanks girl :)

    Hugs,
    Bella

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