Monday, April 12, 2010

What do sunflowers, polebeans, and cukes have in common?

Somewhat of a trick question really. I purchased Jack and the Beanstalk sunflowers from Pinetree Seeds this spring and plan to use these 9foot towers as the base for the pole beans and cukes. I've long believed plants fare better when they are matched to companions. I might have a challenge keeping all these plants happy with plenty of water and fertilizer because these are heavy feeders. Maybe a soaker hose will do the trick.

Another great sunflower is the Teddy Bear which I grew for the first time last year. My sister turned me on to this variety a few summers ago. They grow to about 5 feet in my gardens but hers grew much taller in the desert sun of eastern Washington. I loved them and the bees were in heaven. The neat feature is the side shoots that are all over these stalks and each produces 3 more flowers. Teddy Bear sunflowers are aptly named as they have a thick dense texture which is produced with a seemingly infinite number of petals. The traditional center clusters of flowers are not visible on the Teddy Bear...just a endless array of yellow petals. You really have to see these to understand their unique appearance.

So the cukes, beans and sunflowers will grow together this summer. A shot of my brother's compost will surely be appreciated! Plant a row for the hungry.

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