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We do a lot of fun little projects here at Rock Father HQ, and most of you know that if it involves gardening, it’s usually one of my favorites. This year, I decided to do something we’ve never attempted before… growing “baby” sunflowers in classic, glass pop bottles. Now, I could’ve easily called this project “Soda Pop Sunflowers” or “Pop Bottle Sunflowers,” but I’m giving it a brand-name: “Mountain Dew Sunflowers.” No, this post is not sponsored or endorsed by PepsiCo (the makers of Mountain Dew), but I’m a Dew loyalist – specifically that tasty Diet Mountain Dew that I drink a lot of. But it was regular Mountain Dew that I found in glass 4-packs, and those became our planters. Here’s the story of our two-month journey…

Mountain Dew SunflowersFor this project you will need:

  • Glass Soda Pop Bottles
  • Sunflower Seeds – Dwarf Variety
  • Moisture Control Potting Mix
  • Two-liter Pop Bottle (optional, for use as funnel)

On June 3, we began our project with five, empty glass Mountain Dew bottles, a bag of Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix, and a package of Elf (GIRASOL Elf) Sunflower Seeds from Burpee. I opted for the moisture control mix as we would not be drilling holes in the glass for drainage. Being light and fluffy, getting it into the bottles was a challenge, but we created a quick assist by fashioning a funnel from an empty 2-liter bottle – cut off at the top. A small stick helped to process…

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Seeds planted (3 per bottle) with a little more dirt on top, we were good to go. It took a good amount of water applied gently – too quick would make the potting mix eject from the bottle – to properly soak the seeds. Monitoring the water daily, we soon had sprouts, and by June 28th they were inching through the bottle neck (note: the small pots are Marigolds that we started from seed)…


By July 16, a solid root-structure was present, a fun little bit of visible science for Addie to enjoy. Out of the five bottles planted, 3 took. WATER IS KEY with these. We really had to watch these, checking them daily to make sure the roots were moist…


And on July 31, the plants were growing nicely…


Finally, On August 16, 2013, the first flowers bloomed…


So now I’m thinking… what else could we try in glass bottles? What might have a quick enough turnaround that we could have something else cool for Halloween? Stay tuned…

Lomogram 2013-08-17 12-39-28-PM

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