One of the greatest ways to teach your kids responsibility and healthy ways is to have them grow a garden. While Audrey is only three, she already enjoys spending a little time every day in our garden. I think it’s really more that she enjoys digging in the dirt. She has her own gardening tools, a couple spades, a rake, watering cans and even an apron with her matching hat.
Last week I talked about how to start a garden in your kitchen with things you already have. You can find that here. We tried the process of germination last year and it was a great success. The only thing was I hated having to keep buying the dirt pods. While they are extremely helpful, it can add up in cost. I remember buying pod starters from Miracle Grow. They had the dirt and seeds already in them. You just needed to water them and they’d grow. We ended up with jalapeños, basil, cilantro and tomatoes from them. Once they sprouted a few inches, I cut the bottoms off and transplanted them to large pots.
Why couldn’t I just make my own? Audrey has been hounding me to plant more since last week so I had to come up with something. Our neighbors, with their amazing green thumbs, told me about how they used egg cartons as a ground cover because they will slowly decompose into the dirt. The pods we bought last year are made of the same material as an egg container. Ding, ding, ding. Light bulb.
Here is how you can make your own germination transfer pods with your kids.
2 dozen sized egg cartons or one 24 pack.
1 plastic bin (the ones from the dollar store hold everything perfectly).
Cut the tops off your egg cartons and into long rows.
Set the bottoms in your container and sprinkle a little water over the cardboard. Put equal amounts of dirt into each spot.
Push your seeds down just below the surface of the soil. Water the soil again. If it pools in the bottom that’s fine, it will wick up later.
Now place your plastic wrap tightly over the container. I taped it down around the edges because mine wanted to stick to me instead of the container. Leave your plants in a warm area where they can safely sprout.
Once they have sprouted an inch or two take them out and plant them in your rows. You can cut them into individual pods to plant if they are larger growing plants.
Watch the soil, if it looks dry then water it. It shouldn’t need to be watered more than once if you water it enough the first time and seal it up well.
Keep it in a window where it will get some sunlight.
Check it regularly with your kids and keep the excitement alive.
What are you going to grow?