Monday, July 21, 2014

5 Tips For Planting Sunflowers With The Kids!

Back in the garden today! When I started doing gardening posts this year a few readers suggested planting sunflowers with the kids since they seem to grow overnight.

And I did. (Don't ever say I don't listen to you guys!).

We've had so much fun with them. Since our regular garden area was already full by the time we decided to plant in a small patch of lawn off the driveway. In a couple of months, the flower are twice the size of the kids!
 We have many more blooms now-- and all different colors! My favorite is this bright yellow Lemon Queen.
 Although I don't have enough pictures for a 'tutorial'; here are 5 tips for having a successful sunflower growing project

1. Buy big. I was surprised to find that Sunflower can grow from 5-6 inches to 6-7 feet (and beyond!) The packages can sometimes be misleading as to which is which. We ended up going with Botanical Interests Autumn Beauty and Lemon Queen. I chose these over the even taller Mammoth varieties since they have multiple flowers per plant.
2. Section it off!  If you are planting in your lawn, I really recommend sectioning off the area to protect seedlings from getting mowed over or stepped on. We put down a thick layer of mulch and compost so the little seedlings didn't accidentally get mowed down. At the end of the season we'll pull the sunflowers and let the grass take over.
3.. Plant successively. We planted two sets of seeds 2 weeks apart for a longer bloom time.
4. Don't forget the birds and the bees! A huge bonus to this sunflower project is that the huge blooms attract a lot of bees. It's been awesome to talk to the kids about pollination and how flowers work. Also, we are letting the flower go to seed so hopefully we will get a few bird visitors later in teh season.
5. Take lots of pictures! I wish I had more photos of how fast the sunflowers grew. Since these sunflowers are in our driveway, we checked on them briefly when we left the house; but I didn't think to take photos. It would have been fun to make an album for the kids to flip through.

If you want more info, this video from burpee is very informative.

I don't know if there is still time where you live to plant these suckers, but if there is, I highly reccomend it!

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