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 doubt
s about green vegetables
, are gobbling them up by the bowlful.
(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...
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
One was a mutant 3-headed sunflower: Only one little perfect gourd grew on this vine:
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"