I’m disorganized at everything, and gardening is no exception.
Most of the time when I remember to do something at the right time, it’s by accident.
I’ve seen examples of sunflower forts for years, but never, apparently, at the right time to plant them. Somehow this year was the exception, and I finally planted one.
A sunflower fort is a ring (or square, or what-have-you) of sunflowers that grow to form an enclosed space for children to play in.
This is how I did mine. You could also dig directly into the lawn or garden area where you want your fort, but I like no-dig better. There’s no digging and I can use better soil:
First, because the chickens have free-range time a couple of times a day, I knew if the sunflowers were to have a remote chance of making it to adulthood I would have to fence the chickens out. It will also give the plants some support, but the fence is not necessary if you don’t have a chicken issue.
I drove some ‘found’ bamboo into the ground in a circle and wrapped some ‘found’ chicken wire around it.
Thank you again, Curb Whisperer.
Thank you, man who put 100 feet of chicken wire out for the garbage pickup after giving up on using it to keep his dogs from digging out of his yard.
I left an opening, a door, in the future fort. I can block it off when the chickens are out.
Then I put down some newspaper over the grass. The newspaper will help smother the grass/weeds while the sunflowers get started and will soon decompose to let the sunflower roots through to the existing soil.
I had some rotting straw so I put down a layer of that. Not necessary, but a nice worm magnet and soil-builder.
Then I began covering it with “chicken dirt.” Chicken dirt is what I call the dirt I dig out from inside the chicken run. Since I put grass clippings, bags of fall leaves, garden weeds and spent plants in the run for the chickens to enjoy, the soil level rises and rises and gives me a supply of chicken-composted soil for whenever I need it.
Another reason I love having chickens.
Then I planted a mix of different varieties of sunflower seeds and watered them in. A little more of that straw over the top for mulch and the only thing left to do is wait and water.
It’s been a couple of weeks and the sunflowers are getting bigger and bigger every day with the good deep rains we’ve had and the sunny days in between.
I made the entrance a little too small for the lawn mower and I probably don’t want to mow in there anyway, so I’m trying to come up with a way to let the rabbits in to mow for me without them eating the sunflowers. Double fence?
We’ll see how that goes.
I’ll update with more pictures as the sunflowers get bigger.
Already spotted: fairy inside the fort.