Kids Go Gardening - grow a summer hideaway

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Summer time means long, hot days and lots of time spent outside.  Wouldn’t it be great to have your own hideaway?  Somewhere quiet to read a book or have a rest.

What grows tall and fast?

Some plants grow like rockets in warm weather. Clear a patch of sunny ground and plant some sunflowers, sweetcorn or climbing bean seeds. Or mix it up grow all three! Sow seeds before Christmas then watch these speedsters grow taller than you before the end of summer.

Grow a bean teepee

...and you’ll have a cool summer hideaway that you can eat!

  1. Choose your favourite climbing bean seed. Yates ‘Humongous Mega Beans’ are super huge.
  2. Pick a sunny patch of soil or lawn and mark out a circle 1.2-1.5m wide. Will it be big enough to sit in with a friend?
  3. Dig with a trowel to make your make your circle into a loose and crumbly bed of soil for your seeds to grow in.
  4. Evenly space 5-10 tall stakes (2m long) around the circle and push them in firmly. Tie them together at the top (you might need a taller person to help!) to make your teepee. Wind some string around the stakes to help your beans get started on their climb. Once they get going their twining stems will cling onto your teepee without help.
  5. Plant your seeds and water them well. There’s no need to water again for the next few days. Bean seeds don’t like to get too wet at this stage.
  6. Watch for the first leaves to pop up in about 7 to 10 days. When they have started growing, they need plenty of water and food. Feed with Yates Thrive Vegie Herb Liquid Plant Food or Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food to help them grow strong and fast.
  7. You should be picking your first tasty bean pods about 12 weeks after sowing. Pick them often to encourage more to grow.

Good idea: Use purple, yellow and green climbing beans for a rainbow coloured hideaway!

Grow the sweetest sweet corn

The sweetest corn is the corn you pick fresh from your own garden. Grow corn in a big circle to make a corn hut. Corn plants grow tall on their own strong stems so they don’t need stakes.

Dig with a towel until the soil is loose and crumbly. Poke holes about 2cm deep and 30cm apart. Drop a seed into each hole and cover it with soil. If you have plenty of seed, plant two seed in each hole then cut off the weakest of the two seedlings if they both grow.

Count the days! You corn should be ready for picking about 90 days after planting, when the silks turn brown.

Grow the tallest sunflowers

Choose your favourite sunflower variety. For a super tall sunflower, try Yates Sunflower ‘Ginormous FlowerZilla’. Count how many days until they grow taller than you? Have a guess how tall will they be when they flower? Have fun with your friends to see who grows the tallest sunflowers.

Sunflower roots don’t like being moved, so its best to sow seed straight where you want them to grow. If you have lots of seeds, sow in pairs and pull out the weakest seedlings when they start to grow.

As your sunflowers grow tie them to stakes with stretchy ties (such as old socks cut up). Water to keep the soil just moist and feed them every week with liquid fertiliser.

Did you know? Sunflowers planted in a big group are more likely to attract bees, butterflies and other insects, which visit sunflowers to feast on pollen and nectar. Meanwhile the pollen sticks to their bodies and they spread it from flower to flower.

Fun to try: Sow sunflowers in between your corn plants. Then grow beans up your corn and sunflowers once they are growing strongly.

How deep?  A good rule of thumb is to plant your seeds about twice as deep as the size of the seed. Beans, corn and sunflowers have big seeds which makes them easy to space with your fingers.


Look for these products, tips and advice at a Go Gardening Store near you.



kids bean hut

Dig out a circle shape and add topsoil and planting mix.

Make your teepee with long bamboo stakes and wind string around for the beans to climb on.

Plant your bean seed in the soil and water them.