Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day! Recycled Seedling Containers


Happy Earth Day!

Sorry I was MIA last week; I'd been feeling under the weather for a while and finally couldn't muddle through my days so I went to the doctor and ended up with pneumonia. Blah. And a sinus infection. Double Blah. And then I had an allergic reaction to my RX. Triple Blah.  But I'm starting to feel better, little by little, and couldn't miss celebrating Earth Day with you guys!

Our little family of 3 loves planting our yearly garden.  I love fresh produce and go to the grocery store at least twice a week to restock our fruit and veggies, which can be a pain and costly!  So, when spring starts to appear, we start talking veggies!

Since we live in So. Cal, our "winters" aren't very harsh... they're more non-existent... so we don't often have to sow our seeds indoors but this "winter" has been so fickle that I thought it would be best to start our seeds in a controlled environment.  So, in true Mommy-kills-fun fashion, I turned a normal, fun seed planting into a learning, science experiment and incorporated the Scientific Method, writing, drawing, and decomp lesson. Yes, poor Lil A can't just dig in dirt and plant some seeds.

Here's how you can drain smart up the fun for your kids too!

Grab your supplies.  We wanted to see which container would help the seeds grow the best, so we used toilet paper rolls, clean eggshells and a Burpee Green House Kit (found at Target for $7.99) for our containers.

Once you have clean, dry eggshells, you'll need to poke holes in the bottom of the shells for water to drain.  I used a small stick pin and poked 3-4 holes in the bottom of each shell.

Fill each shell half-way with garden soil.  Add your seeds to each shell - per packet instructions - cover your seeds with more soil, water and set in a dry, warm area of your house where they get natural sunlight - a windowsill is a great area!

Once you have your toilet paper roll containers all ready, you'll repeat the same planting steps that we did for the eggshell containers.

 Remember to always follow the directions on your seeds packet!  Many veggies have specific needs when it comes to seed depth, sunlight and water requirements.

Set your toilet paper roll planters in a warm, dry area with natural sunlight - we put ours right next to our eggshell planters to keep our variables limited.

Next I had Lil A grab a piece of paper, draw pictures of our containers, ask his question (which planter will help the seeds grow the best?), give his hypothesis (the Burpee Green House), and then write his observations over a few weeks.  Yes, I'm telling you, I can suck the fun out of any activity!

We let our seeds sprout and grow for roughly 2 weeks - Lil A and Big A planted them this past weekend in our NEW planter beds AND the best part was that they were able to take our toilet roll and eggshell planters and place them directly into our garden beds, knowing that the rolls and eggshells would decompose in our soil! More on the planter beds later this week! And guess what, Lil A's hypothesis was spot on - the seeds in the Burpee Greenhouse WERE the FIRST to sprout and they grew the tallest!

So go ahead, start your garden!  You don't have to purchase fancy containers for your seeds, you can reuse items you probably have on hand and teach your kids about Reducing. Reusing. Recycling while learning about the plant life cycle and having the rewards of eating the fruit of your labor!

Happy Earth Day!

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