Browse Tag: ‘Red Sun’ sunflower

You cannot have your lawn and garden it (too)

IMG_6956Or can you? The always difficult choice of choosing between maintaining an open space or realizing a garden to its maximum potential is a conundrum faced by a good number of gardeners.

While there may be space to build and grow a serious garden, your family’s need for open space may supersede that want. As with most conundrums, sometimes the best we can do is to settle and get what we can get.

Last year, the idea to dig holes into the lawn for planting was conceived. I already had a good number of pots with plants in them. Why not turn that idea around? Instead of pots above the ground, the ground was turned into pots. Holes would be dug and replaced with nutrient rich soil. Then a plant would be planted. In some ways, these were better pots. A plant’s roots have a better chance expanding into the hard dirt than it does trying to push through plastic or clay pots.

Holes were dug. The side and depth of the hole was dependent on the plant’s needs. This year, I am planning to expand on this practice. I am starting with the far end of the lawn. It is the part of the yard where it can be seen from the living room. I prefer to grow flowers here. Already back there are roses. Now, I am adding ‘Red Sun’ sunflowers to the view.

Sunflowers are one of the easiest flowers to grow. Other than protection from bugs and slugs early on, they do not require too much.


Using a trench shovel, five holes are dug: about a foot apart, about 10-inches deep and 6-inches wide. The dirt that was dig out is piled for back filling later.


Before back filling the dirt, compost is added and mixed in to turn the dirt to soil. Plants love compost; even low maintenance plants like sunflowers. While sunflowers do not need much, as a gardener, you’re going to provide your plants with as much as your able to. Just like you would your children.

'Red sun' sunflower seedling
‘Red sun’ sunflower seedling

Many of the plants in the garden do not get sowed directly in the ground as they are unable to survive the onslaught of slugs and armadillidiidaes (pill-bugs).  Even in these old yogurt containers, they are in peril. Out of the eight sunflowers that sprouted, one was taken down by a slug. The sunflower seedlings were eventually moved to the drought tolerate garden. Up here, they are safer. Slugs do not hangout here. The soil is dry and there is very little for them to much on. Further, it is quite the journey for them should they want to snack on these seedlings. They’ll need to cross through a dry path and scale a two and a half foot brick wall. To give them credit, it is not that they are unable to, it is not worth their trouble to. The same applies to the pill-bugs. There’s not too much for them up here worth hanging out for.

'Red sun' sunflower seedling
‘Red sun’ sunflower seedling

Here’s one of the ‘Red sun’ sunflower in the morning after it was planted into the ground. All but one was chewed on in some form or another by slugs. I am hoping that they are mature enough to withstand the slugs.