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applestar
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I just planted a sunflower house

Still sore and aching from digging and planting :lol:
I based the design on this one

Mine is 12' East-to-West x 8' North-to-South and is planted with alternating seeds of Mammoth sunflower and Earth Tones Dent Indian corn, interspersed with Bird House gourd, mixed baby gourd, and Scarlet Runner beans. I sprinkled the whole perimeter with Mammoth dill and planted parsley transplants at the corners and the doorway, then planted transplants of cosmos along the front row. Just for fun, I planted a Grape Tomato transplant on the inside center of the back row so the kids can "snack." A slate stepping stone made a good bridge at the doorway.

We'll have to see how well they grow since the area used to be lawn. I dug the 6" wide moat, piled the sod upside-down 6" in from the moat, and mounded compost on top to create the 1' raised row perimeter, then mulched the moat-side of the mounds with straw. I left the center area grass (the doorway's a little wider so my reel mower can fit through). Not the ideal, I admit. The grass will probably try to grow back/thru the mounds. Also, I've read that sunflowers don't grow well where lawn grass used to grow.... I'm hoping that "hilling" with more compost as they grow will boost things a bit. Wish me luck! :wink:

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applestar
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Not much to look at yet, but here's are some photos. The row tunnels were initially used to protect the corn and sunflower seedlings from marauding birds. Now, they're being used to protect them from bunnies.
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This one shows a corn, a sunflower, and a cosmos. Fence Row was planted 2 days after the Sunflower House, and some of the sunflowers didn't come up so this photo might be an even later sowing.
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The white stuff around some of the sunflowers and corn is Diatomatious Earth which I just put down this morning -- the slugs have chomped a few sunflower seedlings down to the ground :evil:

I have to mix up some compost tea for these guys. I didn't have much compost left after making the raised veggie garden. Also, the straw might be tying up the nitrogen.

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applestar
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Corn outgrew the tunnel cover so I put up a short fence (cut a 48"H fence in 1/2 to make 24"H fence) to keep the bunnies out. A left over fence piece and some plastic tilt wands from defunct blinds for extra support turned into a nice gate. Some of the sunflowers didn't come up -- I was stretched thin so only planted one seed in each spot. Planted some seeds from a birdfeed mix 4 to a spot today, but I don't know if they'll grow. Along with the few sunflowers and nicely spaced corn, scarlet runner bean, bird house gourd, and (I think) one of the mixed mini gourds are growing nicely. Also, several volunteer tomato seedlings have sprouted (must have survived in the compost) I'll just leave them in there and see what happens -- maybe I can "espalier" them.... :D
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doccat5
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That looks just GREAT!! Something I want to do, if I can get my back problems taken care off. It's really put a cramp in my style thie year. sigh

That just looks like so much fun! ;) You are creating wonderful memories for your children! Good for you!!
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applestar
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Thanks! My kids are thrilled to see the "walls" growing up around them almost daily. It gives me incentive to keep them growing well. :wink:

I'm sorry about your back. That must be hard. I had a shoulder injury over the winter and was in pain from Jan~April. I could tell it was healing but VEERRRY slowly, and couldn't sleep comfortably, so that I was exhausted from lack of sleep! In March I decided to speed things up a bit and went for a month of acupuncture treatments. It was really great! Added bonus was that the acupuncturist, on hearing that my spring allergies were acting up, casually said, "Oh, let's take care of that, shall we?" Stuck some needles in my face, and cleared it right up! Whoo Hoo!
I hope you feel better soon!

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cherlynn
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I really enjoyed reading about and seeing your sunflower house begin to grow! It is your post that just led me to join this forum.

I recently planted a sunflower house too. Mine is for my grandkids...although I am really having all the fun right now! I was also inspired by the same website as you and one other site that used morning glory and moonflower seeds with the sunflowers. I used mammoth Sunflower seeds for the longer walls and velvet queen for the shorter lengths. I planted moonflower seeds and morning glory seeds on three of the sides and green beans on the fourth. I also planted a couple of nasturtium and marigolds on each corner. Earlier today I added two small cherry tomato plants that I found mixed in with my basil in my garden. It made me laugh to see that you had done the same.

I am newly retired and a novice of sorts at gardening! But I am enjoying every minute of it! Here are a couple photos of the sunflower house taken just about one week ago.

doccat, I hope that your back is feeling better!

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cherlynn

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applestar
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Oh! Welcome to the forum! Your sunflower house is looking GREAT! Look at all the sunflower seedlings! Mine is starting to look more like CORN house with a few sunflowers thrown in :roll: but there are more sunflowers along the fence row, so maybe it'll work out. I'm going to take the cover off of those soon (and fence them) so I can take care of them better.

I'm sure your grandkids are going to love your garden. I get such a kick out of my kids going around saying "Look at the CORN! They're getting SO BIG!" "The PUMPKIN is bigger than YESTERDAY! I can't WAIT until they make pumpkins so we can have PUMPKIN PIE! YUM!" "Nastur... Nastur... what are they called again?" (nasturtiums) "If THESE are GIRL cucumber flowers, where are the BOY flowers?" as well as "Look! A BOY DOWNY woodpecker!" "A HUMMINGBIRD! It's a.... GIRL!" "Shhh. There's a CATBIRD over there, under the birdbath!" Well, I can go on and on :wink:

doccat5
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That's just wonderful, more future gardeners in the making! Good job! :)
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cherlynn
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Sunflower House

Thank you for the warm welcome! I have already enjoyed reading your posts! You seem to really enjoy being a mom! Your plants are looking great! The corn will define the house well...it will be strong! Your children are truly fortunate to have a fun mom like you!

I don't have a fence, so I am hoping to keep the deer away...although we don't see too many of them here...they do like our hostas!

It will be fun to see how our sunflower houses grow! Keep up the good work!
cherlynn

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cherlynn
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Thank You, duccat5

Thank you for the welcome. Retirement has given me more time to enjoy our yard and get my hands in the soil. After planting two small veggie gardens I just couldn't resist planting the sunflower house!

I'm glad to join this forum!
cherlynn

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applestar
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I know they do this EVERY day, but I love noting that the sunflowers are facing the eastern sky where the sun will peek above the trees in the morning, and that they are facing the western sky where the sun last disappeared behind the neighbor's house in the evening. :D
How do they do that :?: I can sort of imagine the cells on "shaded" side of the plant expanding/stretching out more as the sun moves around it (if that's what they do :?:), but what makes them turn around so they're facing in the correct direction by morning light???

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Jess
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applestar what a neat idea! Makes me wish my kids were still young enough to enjoy such a thing. (They are of the age that girls are no longer horrid and annoying.)
Can't wait to see it fully grown. I would have to sit in it first to make sure it was suitable for the kids! :lol:

I have no idea why sunflowers turn their heads ready for the morning/evening sun and now I will have to find out...
Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."

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applestar
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Here's the latest photo. GroundHOG got some of the sunflowers' lower leaves AND the new seedlings that were coming along :evil: :evil: I'll try again, but those empty corners may not get filled in. :? Note our "scares" that are, sad to say, completely ineffective. :roll:
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applestar
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FYI -- Found these websites for additional info on growing sunflowers:

Sunflower Insect Pest Management in North America -- good photo ID of bugs. I wouldn't mind the painted lady though. Here's a link to good ID photos of the caterpillars so you'll know what NOT to kill :wink: (ignore everything after "management" :roll:)
http://www.entomology.ksu.edu/DesktopDe ... &tabid=553

http://www.sunflowerguide.com

Beat the Birds to Sunflower Seeds -- How to Protect Harvest Dry and Roast Sunflower Seeds

I do intend to leave some of the sunflowers uncovered for the bird/wildlife to pick on naturally, and after the seeds are dried and saved, the smaller ones will be used for the birdfeeder. :D

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applestar
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The local A.C. Moore was selling their arch trellis on clearance for $3. 8) It's not very sturdy -- a couple of years ago, I let a volunteer grapevine grow on one, and the whole thing fell over when a hurricane passed through -- the hollow tube of the metal trellis had bent and collapsed. :roll: It still wasn't all that painful considering I'd only paid $10 for it, but for $3, I bought 5 out of 6. :wink: I left one section out when assembling it, so the trellis is only about 6-1/2' tall. That was a week and a half ago:
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Now, several corn are tassling and a few have silks emerging:
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One has red-flowered tassles:
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Another one is soft pink:
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The tallest corn are about 7 feet tall now. I wonder if the sunflowers will grow taller?
Here's the alley view with the Fence Row:
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There are knee high sunflowers struggling to grow in the empty spots, but the others had too much of a head start, it seems. Also, the idea was that the Scarlet Runner Beans would grow up the corn, and strings would be tied at the bottom of the sunflower heads, criss-crossing to form an overhead canopy, but my beans are extremely wimpy and are barely at the top of the fence. Apparently, the idea is that SRB's are well behaved and won't pull the corn (or the sunflowers) down, but if I do this again, I think I might try another kind of pole bean that is a bit more vigorous....

The birdhouse gourd, on the other hand, is starting to climb the trellis and is providing a dainty interest:
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Here's an aerial view:
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You can see the corn are not as GREEN as they should be -- I've been worried about that and have been giving them compost tea. Considering that the location was minimally prepped, I guess they're doing as well as can be expected. We're feeling the drought around here as well. :?

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cherlynn
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applestar,

I hope that the drought has ended and that you have had a good watering! Your Sunflower House looks really good with the corn tassling(a new word for me!). I would like to try planting some corn with mine next year. I also like the addition of the trellis...what a buy!
The birdhouse gourd is really a nice touch!

I finally got around to uploading a few photos of our Sunflower House. We have fortunately had rain. Some of the Sunflowers, mostly the shorter ones, the Velvet Queens, are forming buds, although they haven't reached the height of 6 feet mentioned on the seed packets. I think that they are about 3 feet tall at the present time. One or two Mammoths also are forming buds...they are not quite 5 feet tall and should reach up to 12 feet tall. Is it true that the growth stops when buds form?

The pole bean plants are growing up the sunflowers and seem to be doing well.

My granddaughter really enjoys running into the backyard to see "her" Sunflower House! Her brother would like to simply tear the Sunflower leaves! I am thrilled that she is enjoying this years gardening with us and her parents. Both yards have gardens where she has watched things grow and taken a part in the experience. She seems to especially like the taste of the garlic chives! She loves looking for worms and is quite gentle with them.

Anyhow...here are my pictures...(the barn is our neighbors...it's quite nice!)

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This last photo shows a bit of our "lasagne" garden and some of our tomato plants behind the Sunflower House:
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cherlynn

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applestar
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WOWOWOW!
Your sunflower house is looking GREAT! :D
You must be feeding them something special :wink:
Mine are struggling along -- I'll post most recent photo soon the ones I have on the computer is already old from 7/26 -- they grow so much. But I can see from your photos how a SUNFLOWER house is supposed to look -- mine has definitely turned into CORN house with a few sunflowers for accent. :roll:
I don't think growth stop with bud-form -- maybe when the flowers open. My sunflowers are doing their daily dance -- slow twirl from East to West and West to East -- and they seem to grow as they do this.

Image Image

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applestar
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I've only a little time today to do this, but I wanted to mention that I didn't realize the sunflowers would ALL open facing the direction in which the sun first touches them in the morning. (I mean I "knew" that -- I've seen fields of sunflowers all facing the same direction... but it didn't occur to me what that would mean for OUR flowers....) OUR sunflowers look like they're ALL looking into the next door neighbor's window as well as the side door where they keep their trash can AND the side yard which their kids always use to access their back yard! :oops: I can only imagine how this looks from their point of view.
:flower: :shock: :flower: :shock: :shock: :flower: :flower:
:flower: :flower: :shock: :shock: :flower: :shock: :flower:
(At least we had some sunflower failures so it's not as intense as it could have been :roll: )
They also have a powerful motion-activated security light over their side door, and it keeps tripping during the night. :lol:

This isn't a very good picture with the screen in the way and all, but here's a photo from a few days ago. Today, ALL the flowers have opened so the effect is even more emphasized:

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(the fence is 5' high)

Next year, I'll plant a row of sunflowers along my South-West fence. Then they'll all be looking toward OUR house! :wink:

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applestar
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Also, the idea was that the Scarlet Runner Beans would grow up the corn, and strings would be tied at the bottom of the sunflower heads, criss-crossing to form an overhead canopy, but my beans are extremely wimpy and are barely at the top of the fence. Apparently, the idea is that SRB's are well behaved and won't pull the corn (or the sunflowers) down, but if I do this again, I think I might try another kind of pole bean that is a bit more vigorous....

Okay, I've re-assessed my opinion of the Scarlet Runner Beans: Initially they grew to about knee high, then basically seemed to stop growing -- almost all summer they did nothing, then in August, started to grow and GROW! -- Now, they're full of dainty flowers that the HUMMINGBIRDS can't get enough of -- HB's start visiting in the morning when it's still almost too dark -- I can hardly see them -- we're talking before 6AM! Pollinated by the enthusiastic HB's, the beans are producing prodigiously. I've tried picking them pencil thin to big and fat, and the consensus is that they taste meaty and beany -- in other words great! when they're as fat as they can get before the pods start changing color. The pods remain tender as long as you can snap them. My DH and I aren't getting very much -- the kids, who have serious doubts about green vegetables :roll:, are gobbling them up by the bowlful. :D (I just cook them in a little bit of salted water until they turn intensely green -- we don't like them mushy -- then add a good pat of butter.)

I've mentioned the sunflowers facing the *wrong* direction. In the future, I would advise anyone growing a Sunflower House to orient it so the ENTRANCE/DOORWAY to the house is facing as precisely in the direction of sunrise for your garden as possible (for example, although the sun rises a little to the north of East during the summer, my sunflower house is shaded by the neighbor's house, then by some trees, so the first rays of the sun won't reach them until the sun clears the tops of the trees -- which is EAST).

Here's is how they look now. The photo was taken on a cloudy day. I really should take another one in the sun. As you can see, the Indian Corn is growing nicely and are already starting to dry (Should I cut them and put them in a dry place like the garage? or can they stand out there until Halloween? Should I harvest seed corn for next year now? Some ears are dry and kernels are "dented" inside. We're in a drought right now, but I *think* it usually starts to rain sometime in September... :roll: Also, I'm afraid the squirrels and/or blackbirds might discover them soon -- I'll post this question separately in the veg forum in case veg folks don't visit here :wink:)
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One was a mutant 3-headed sunflower: Only one little perfect gourd grew on this vine:
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Next time, I would:
• Orient the house to so the designated FRONT of the house is in the direction the sunflowers would open.
• Sow insurance seeds (3 or 4) in each sunflower spot.
• Provide more secure safe-guards against predation by wildlife -- namely the groundHOG although bunnies are as likely culprit in the early stages so use a small mesh netting over the fence in the beginning.
• Sow more little gourd seeds
• Sow insurance seeds of Scarlet Runner Beans and an early variety pole bean under every other flower or corn for FULL production of green as well as dry beans

Oh! I have to take a picture, but a lone sunflower grew in the exact corner of the fence. It's only about 4 feet tall, and probably due to sun-glare from the neighbor's car in their driveway, happened to open FACING the corner. I call it "The Dunceflower" :lol:

dinker
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very nice! thanks for sharing the pictures

hdaviesmt
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Your sunflower garden is wonderful! I just shared it with my kids and it seems it will be our first project next spring. Thanks for sharing.

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cherlynn
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Applestar,

I've enjoyed your Sunflower House posts and photos! I also like your plans for "next time"!
I have a few things that I too would do next time:

Plant the Sunflower House in more direct sun...
If I can find a spot!
Plant a clover "carpet" for the inside.
Plant some gourds...I just Love Yours!

This year we had a lot of hot weather and plenty of rain...until recently! This helped my sunflowers, but my tomatoes have blight!
We seem to have very good soil, which gave us a good start. I fed the sunflowers just a bit of organic "Cockadoodle DOO", a small amount of coffee grounds, some compost, and water...nothing more! Nature did the most!

We have a truly Beautiful Sunflower House! I am hoping that it continues to bloom during my son and his family's visit. The sunflowers have mostly opened in one direction...which was not east! Hmmm... I think that our line of trees has thoroughly confused them! My granddaughter, who has yet to see it with so many blooms, has enjoyed seeing the first few flowers, picking her pole beans, and just being in it!

I tried to make a roof, by drawing the sunflowers together with cloth and yarn and attempting to get the pole beans and morning glories to grow into a roof...that is not happening!

Growing the Sunflower House has been a really enjoyable experience, one that I plan to continue for years to come!

Like yours, our neighbor has a terrific view of the sunflowers. However, because the fence is a wire one they have been able to enjoy the entire sunflower house!

Here are some of the photos that my husband and I took earlier this week. He's the better photographer!

ImageImage
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A Very Busy Bee!
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Which Way To Face?
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Looking Forward To Reading More of Your Posts!
cherlynn

wolfie
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Cherlynn,

what are the flowers that are orange and red?

these are all so beautiful, getting my ideas flowing!

Thanks for sharing!
Shan -
Who is learning to garden and loving every minute of it!

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cherlynn
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Shan(wolfie),

They are Velvet Queen Sunflowers. They were Beautiful!!!

Our family really enjoyed the Sunflower House! The heavy rains over the weekend snapped many of the sunflowers, which were heavy with wet seeds. Our morning glories had finally bloomed...a bit later than the sunflowers. We hope to salvage a few seeds for roasting, although I'd gladly share them with the birds! It was a great garden project, one that I hope to start again next spring! It might even be a Sunflower Teepee next year!

Our grandchildren really enjoy picking the green beans that grew up the sunflower plants and munching on cherry tomatoes from the gardens while sitting in the Sunflower House. The entire growing experience was fun!

Still more to enjoy...roasted sunflower seeds, delicious tomatoes, peppers and basil....and of course, autumn in the northeast!

Happy Garden Planning!

cherlynn

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applestar
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Cherlynn - I'm so sorry! I thought I already replied to this post! I know I fully intended to... :oops: Your sunflower house turned out LOVELY! Mine makes a sorry comparison and I'm glad people have a GOOD example to look forward to when they decide to plant their own! :lol: The Velvet Queen is gorgeous! I think I'm going to look for some seeds next spring.

I don't know if you saw in one of my other posts, but I went to a native plant sale and bought a LOT of plants. I've been digging myself a whole bunch of holes ever since :wink: Last of the trees went in last Thursday, just before the big rain that finally came (it rained 2 weeks ago before that). I just have a few pots of plants here and there that need to go in, a couple of plants that I want to move around, and that's it... I think. Then, it'll be time to put in the bulbs and I ordered garlic bulbs to plant which should come sometime in October. Today, I have to bring in the houseplants as they're predicting low 40's by the end of the week.

Last Thursday was a mad scramble to harvest all the big sunflower heads that I had left -- "OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!" -- before the rain. :twisted: :roll: I spent the remaining Thurs daylight sitting at the patio table tweezing the sunflower seed worms out :? . All the wormy seeds went in the birdfeeder 8). I also hung one of the smaller seeded heads on the birdfeeder.

The beheaded sunflower stalks are supporting the late pole beans I planted in August along with the one Scarlet Runner Bean that is taking over one side of the Sunflower House. All the beans are producing prolifically. We had quite a few Black Swallowtails growing on the dill and parsley. There are four caterpillars now that we're watching over wondering if they're going to manage to make their chrysalides to overwinter before it gets too cold. Interestingly they're MUCH BLACKER than their summer brethren, presumably to absorb as much solar heat as possible.

Definitely a fun project! :D :D :D

wolfie
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can i grow garlic from the bulbs i buy in the store?
Shan -
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cherlynn
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applestar,

No apology needed! I have seen your other posts...you are a busy woman!!! I especially admire your knowledge of gardening and what you are doing with native plants. I have inherited a great variety of "bushes" in our yard. Many have been there for years! I really would like to eventually identify them! I'll have to post some photos in another part of the forum...once I tackle the preparations for winter...UGH!!!

I thought that both of our sunflower houses had great ideas for others.
I plan to try the gourds that you planted with yours, next year! We were just fortunate to have the right amount of rain here this summer. The most important thing was the experiences that you and I and our families shared in the planting, growing and pleasures of this natural project!

It rained for a few days here and now that it has been clearing up the mosquitoes have taken over! I didn't get a chance to "behead" the sunflowers before the rain, so I'm dealing with wet heavy heads...the birds will probably get most of the seeds, but that is just fine with me!

I will be outside tomorrow...and the next day...and the next....you've already been doing this, so you understand, transplanting flowers and potting a few plants to take inside. There is a lot to do, but it is so much fun!!!

Your backyard sounds like a great place for wildlife! I'm sure that we will be in touch as I learn more about attracting caterpillars! I honestly didn't know that some over winter! What great experiences your children must be having! We did enjoy some butterflies this year, as well. However, I didn't witness their formation!

Where did you order your garlic bulbs?

I'll catch you on another topic!

cherlynn

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cherlynn
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wolfie,

applestar, will probably respond to you soon...she will know the answer!

I don't know much about growing garlic; however, I do recall a post that I read on this forum. I just looked it up for you...it will give you the info you need and more! Opabinia mentions that the garlic in the store will have chemicals. I would wonder if organic garlic bought in the market would be ok? I'll probably be "right behind you" rereading the post and researching this same topic! Anyhow, here is the link:
http://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1187

I LOVE GARLIC!!!
cherlynn

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applestar
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Thanks for your vote of confidence, Cherlynn! :wink: That was a good link. I didn't know about leaving the bulbs in the ground for 2nd year...

OK. Here's what I know -- Like onions, garlic bulb development is daylight hours dependent and fall into short day and long day varieties. Unless the garlic purchased from a store is the right variety for your area, they may not make bulbs after all the care you've lavished on it. :? Also, long day varieties are typically not cold hardy.

So stick with garlic grown locally if you want to plant one from the store/market. Note though, that garlic sold as seed bulbs are inspected to be desease-free but the ones sold in stores are not. They may also have been fumigated or irradiated for storage.

I ordered organic garlic called "NY White" from Johnny's Selected Seeds:
http://www.johnnyseeds.com/catalog/sear ... rch=garlic
They don't seem to have the organic ones any more, though.

Have fun and good luck! :D

p.s. I just came across this article -- written for California so some adjustments may be needed but the idea is good. http://groups.ucanr.org/slomg/documents ... bs6005.htm

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cherlynn
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Applestar, Thank you for the link to Johnny's! I'll be bookmarking it. I would like organic garlic, so I'll check out some other places as well.

You make a good point about the garlic being the right variety for your area. A friend of mine grows garlic and I don't remember him mentioning the need for a 2nd year! I'll have to get in touch with him!

I've just searched this forum and found more links to other discussions on growing garlic. Wolfie, all you need to do is go to the main page of the garden forum and do a search on growing garlic. Here is another one of the past posts that I found:
http://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6465

I slept in today and have to get moving...it looks a bit dismal outside...I hope that we are not expecting rain today!
Have A Good Day! :flower:

P.S. I was just checking out Johnny's and spotted a link to info on planting garlic:

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/Assets/products/104611097029058.pdf

cherlynn

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Sienna Dawn
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Location: Pensacola, FL

Wow... I never heard of a sunflower house before... how very cool!! I'd love to try that next summer! Is it something you just thought up, or is there a guideline of some kind.. somewhere?

Great pics, *very* cool playhouse for some lucky kids!
"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value."
--Thomas Paine

Rukah
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Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 6:21 am
Location: Sautee, Ga

Hey Ya'll :D

First of all, you all have BEAUTIFUL sunflower houses :D I am going to attempt to do my first sunflower house this year. I do have a few questions as I am new to gardening in all aspects. My fiance' and I are getting married September 19th of this year, and sunflowers are my main flower in the wedding. To save on the wedding, I've decided to attempt to grow my own flowers for the ceremony and reception. I just hope it works as planned.

I know nothing about sunflowers and nothing about gardening, so I have a few questions. I noticed your sunflower "houses" and had never heard that term before. I have gathered that sunflowers need lots of sun, and I'm assuming they are best if planted in a square shape of sorts? Also, how long untill they bloom? What are the chances of me actually being able to use these flowers, as well as others (not yet decided upon) in mid september when it comes time for the wedding?

We also have 2 different locations on our property we are using for a Garden. Should they be close too or away from that area? Any and all advice for a first time grower would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks Ya'll!! :D
Peace & Love,
Rukah

egrocco
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Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:52 am
Location: lawrence, ma

Hi,
I am helping to create a children's garden in an empty sunny lot next to a community health clinic in an urban neighborhood.

We need a fence, and I love the idea of making a living fence similar to your sunflower houses.

I would love to show the children pictures of your sunflower houses, but can not access them.

Could you send them to me?
thanks, e

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cherlynn
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Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:08 am
Location: SW Florida

This is the first time that I've looked at this post in quite a while, so I was surprised to see your comments Sienna Dawn, Rukah and Egrocco! Thank you!

Last year was my first year growing a Sunflower House. Actually it was this post, by applestar, that brought me to this Garden Forum! Applestar is quite knowledgeable, as are many other gardeners on this forum!

Sienna Dawn,
Did you plant a Sunflower House? I'd love to see photos!

Rukah,
Sunflowers are a Beautiful choice for your wedding! Yes, sunflowers need a lot of sun; however mine did quite well with partial sun last year. They were a bit late, though! This year I have planted the Sunflower House in a sunnier location...our yard has a great deal of shade. There is no need to plant the sunflowers in a square...this is just the design of the Sunflower House. I am not familiar with your growing season in Georgia; however I have just planted our sunflowers this past week and expect them to be in full bloom by mid or late August...hopefully! If you have not found your answers to your questions you may want to post your question as a new topic.

Egrocco,
I'm sorry that you could not see our photos. I will try to send them to you. How is the children's garden progressing? You may want to check out the book "Sunflower Houses: Garden Discoveries for Children of All Ages" by Sharon Lovejoy. I read it after I planted my sunflower house and absolutely loved it! She also has a few other books with lovely ideas for gardening with children!

Happy Gardening!
cherlynn

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Welcome back Cherlynn! :D
Looking forward to photos of your new Sunflower House.
Mine is planted with tomatoes, corn, bush beans, Scarlet Runner Beans, Kakai hulless seed pumpkins, and Delicata squash this year... :roll: :wink:

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cherlynn
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Location: SW Florida


Hi Applestar :D

I've been around...just a bit "low key".

WOW...what a Delicious Sunflower House! I am always amazed at all of the interesting gardens you've planted...especially your Keyhole garden and rice paddy!

I've moved the Sunflower House and had many large rocks to remove in the new spot! I planted Mammoth and Tigers Eye Sunflowers and Luscious Bicolor Sweet Corn so far! I've also planted a "cardinal climber" at the entrance. I still need to buy some Velvet Queen Sunflower seeds! I'll be adding Blue Lake Pole Beans and Kniolas Purple Morning Glories within the next few days. I would like to plant some mini pumpkins, but the only pumpkin seeds I bought were New England Pie Pumpkins...hmmm?!?! I'll be planting some Garden Delight Tomatoes in the corners...if my unhappy seedlings perk up!

I'm still contemplating planting a small teepee...The fun never stops!

Good to share with you again! I hope to see some other Sunflower Houses, as well, this year!

Happy Gardening!!!
cherlynn

Penny for your Thoughts
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Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:38 pm
Location: jackson, mi

I have a question about the sunflower house. I have planted one this yr. for the first time (5 x 5). I planted a mixture of Mammoth sunflowers, pole beans, velvet queen sunflowers, and morning glories. They've already started to grow-around 4 inches tall now. I am wondering now about spacing. How far apart should my plants be from eachother...I maybe should have thought about this to begin with, but I didn't! Right now my plants are about 3 inches apart from eachother? So does anyone have any advice on how far apart i should thin all of this? or should i just let them all grow? :?
:) Penny

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Well, 3'' is way too close. Even pole beans by themselves need at least 6" spacing in an ideal raised bed. So you will need to thin them out. :wink: If their leaves are already touching, then clip them off at soil line so the roots are not damaged. If not, you can water well so the soil is saturated, then gently lift them out and transplant elsewhere in the garden. :D

Thin your mammoth sunflowers at least 12" apart, 18" would be better. (I think mine was in a staggered rows so that in a straight line, they were 24" apart) I'm not sure about the Velvet Queen -- Cherlynn will know. Ideally, you would've let the sunflowers grow a bit to give them a head start before starting the other climbers -- you might need to have them grow up bamboo, sticks, or other support initially. I think I planted the beans about 6"~8" away from the sunflowers. You are going to need to hill (pile up additional 6" or so of soil) around the roots of the mammoth sunflowers so take that into account or you'll end up burying the other plants. :roll:

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cherlynn
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Location: SW Florida

Welcome "Penny for your Thoughts"! I agree with Applestar that 3" is too close. My seed packet for the Mammoth Sunflowers says 24"...the Velvet Queen packet says 18"! I believe that mine were a bit too close last year...maybe 8" or so apart...in double rows on two sides of the Sunflower House...single rows on the other two sides. I transplanted a few to other spots where the plants were not doing well and along the fence on the side of our yard. I did this late in the day and watered them well!

My beans were planted about 4-5" away from the Sunflowers....they did well, but that didn't leave a lot of room for hilling the sunflowers!

Applestar is right about waiting a bit to plant the climbers...however I do get a bit impatient.... :)

I'm looking forward to seeing your Sunflower House!

cherlynn

Decado
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 2:52 am
Location: Crystal, MN (Zone 4)

This has inspired me. Not to build a sunflower house, but just to plant a bunch of sunflowers.

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