It’s easy and fun to help children create a summer hide-away with sunflowers. The first thing to do is to throw out the idea that sunflowers need to be planted in rows. For this project, the sunflowers will be planted round and round in a circle!
- a garden spot that gets at least six hours of sun each day
- seeds for tall and medium sunflowers
- seeds for a colorful, flowering annual
- outline the shape of the “house”; don’t forget to mark a space for the door
- plant the tall sunflowers about a foot apart on the outline
- plant the medium sunflowers in between the tall sunflowers
- plant the annuals all around the outside of the house
To keep the weeds down in the middle of the house, use a thick layer of mulch; or flattened cardboard if your young residents want a “finished” floor.
Once the sunflowers are established, the house is ready for club meetings, tea parties, star gazing and sleep overs. As the flowers begin to droop, the seeds can be harvested, and kept in a special container to build next year’s hideaway.
Lynne Merryfield, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service