I am on a mission to have a sunflower garden and, dang it, I am going to make it work! I used to grow beautiful sunflowers when we lived in West Virginia but I have never had any success in Baton Rouge. The soil around my house is miserable and rain water pours through my yard like a raging river.
But last week this little guy popped his head up and inspired me to try again!
This is a volunteer sunflower, the only one we have had in seven years, that spouted after it fell out of one of my squirrel proof bird feeders. I took it as a sign to try again!
I grabbed a shovel and busted up a test patch of hard, dry dirt. I mixed in a bag of potting mix that I got from Home Depot to loosen the ground up and add at least a few nutrients into the barren ground. I scattered a handful of black oil sunflower seeds, hit them with the water hose and a few days later found that almost ALL of them had sprouted!!
That was it…I was hooked…all in…no turning back!
I headed back to Home Depot and rented a tiller. I spent the next two hours with my boy busting up a 30 foot stretch of hard scrabble and working in five bags of garden amendments.,
We seeded the garden with a mix of varieties. We had standard black oil, mammoth and three types of hybrid sunflowers. The bed was thoroughly soaked and put into service on Monday, May 7.
I will post updates as the sunflower garden develops!
While we were working I realized that the spot beside the new sunflower bed would be the perfect location for a new hammock.
There are not any good tie off points for a traditional hammock so I will probably get another one of those chair hammocks that come with their own stand.
Sitting in a hammock, listening to the birds and looking at a sunflower patch….now THAT sounds like a perfect afternoon to me!
Update: May 12
We have Sunflower Sprouts!
We have been watering our little garden every day and finally saw a BUNCH of sprouting sunflowers! Everyone was excited including our dogs who proceeded to run back and forth along the entire row of sunflowers. And so…..
I installed a temporary fence to keep the puppers from romping where they shouldn’t. The fence added $50 to the cost of the project.
So far we have spent $125:
- $35 for the tiller rental
- $20 for the five bags of garden amendments
- $20 for the assortment of sunflower seeds
- $50 for the fence
I will keep this cost updated as well in case we end up buying anything else.
Update July 17
The garden was nearly a complete and total failure.
We had a handful of sunflowers reach a height of about two feet on thin stalks. They tried their best to put on a good show but were quickly overwhelmed by the heat and the weeds.
My sister in law started a small patch of sunflowers at her house just a few miles from me and had stunning results. This tells me that the heat wasn’t really the problem for my project. Either my soil is complete and total junk or I need more sun.
I am not giving up!
But I am taking a break 🙂