Create your own yellow-topped sunflower fort as a garden activity with kids. Why build a fort? You can all work together to grow an ever-changing leafy playhouse that gets taller and taller through the summer.
What You'll Need:
- 7' x 7' garden patch
- Short stakes
- Tall-growing sunflower seeds (such as giant greystripe or Russian mammoth)
- Cheesecloth (optional)
Step 1: Late in spring when the weather is warm, mark a 7-foot square in the garden. Dig the ground around the edges a foot deep. The soil should be loose and crumbly.
Step 2: Push a stake in the ground at each corner. Mark the "doorway" with stakes.
Step 3: To help you plant seeds in straight lines, tie string to a doorway stake and run the string around the stakes in a square around your fort.
Step 4: Plant seeds an inch deep and six inches apart. (Poke a hole in the dirt with your finger, put a seed in, and cover it up.) Plant seeds around the edges of your fort -- but not in the doorway.
Step 5: Water the seeds.
Step 6: Cover the seeds with a layer of cheesecloth to protect them from squirrels. Leave the cloth loose so the plants can grow; weigh down the edges with dirt.
Step 7: When the plants are several inches tall, remove the cheesecloth. Thin out the plants; sunflowers get huge and need the room.
Step 8: Keep the plants watered, as sunflowers need plenty of moisture.
Go to the next page to discover how you can start a garden with seeds from the fruit you eat.
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