Here is one of my grand plans for spring planting, which I will NOT be doing much of!
I've always wanted to build/grow the kids a sunflower house or a sweet pea house. Finally I decided to incorporate them to make an awesome house of awesomeness.
First I looked all over the internet for advice and read many a blog on people who have actually done this. I love blogs. I love the internet. I love taking advise from people and making it fit for what I'm looking for. I am so excited, because if this works it'll be the coolest house evar.
I'm not sure I'll even get this done this year, but I am going to try to only have a handful of gardening projects this year. And if I don't do it this year I'll remember to do it next year! (maybe)
The kids will get their seeds in their easter baskets and we'll immediately start the shoots inside.
In an 8x8 area I will plant white clover and mint as a ground cover. From what I've read these are very hardy and can be trampled and will recover.
Around the perimeter I will plant russian mammoth sunflowers, helianthus, and sweet corn. In that order. I SO wish I had book marked the website where I got this advice because I'd like to read some of the other articles, but from what I remember the corn will keep the beetles (carpophilus beetles) from the sunflowers and the sunflowers will keep away fall army-worms from the corn. Of course I will plant sweet corn because it will be fun for us to harvest corn and the sunflower seeds in the fall!
A bamboo teepee will be strategically placed inside the sunflowers with four sweet pea plants planted around each pole. The mammoth sunflowers will tower over the teepee and shade them.
There will be a two foot opening which will be flanked with potted (32.5" clay pots) carrots. I originally thought planting the carrots to lead into the house would be wonderful but then I realized that is just a ridiculous thought as our dirt is SO SO SO very rocky and carrots do not grow well in that sort of soil.
I would like to finish the house by planting some cat nip, chamomile and mint; all soothing to children.
So that's the house. We'll see if it gets done but like I said even if I can't do it this year, there's always next year and now I have it documented and planned. :)
At the moment my biggest feat is going to be plotting this out. Sunflowers need sun (6-8 hours per day!) and I would like the sunflower house to be either behind our house or next to our house but I need to make sure there's plenty of sun in those spots and not shaded by our very large centennial trees.
If all goes well I would like to encourage the kids to enter their sunflowers into the fair in September. Who knows if that would work though. :)
Here are some fun inspirational websites on growing sunflower houses I enjoyed!