My daughter, who is awesomely curious about just about everything (from volcanoes, to sharks, to planets, to magnets), is obsessed with seeds. I’ve lost count of the number of times that we’ve found random avocado or peach pits in her jacket pocket, backpack, or lunch bag. I don’t know what we find more of…pits, or rocks. Or maybe sand in her shoes at the end of the day. Ah, to be a parent!
The Accidental Gardener
My daughter’s teacher, who is amazing and whom we will miss dearly next year, decided to turn my daughter’s curiosity about seeds into a teachable moment. So she helped my daughter grow a bunch of seeds at school: cucumber, tomato, and cantaloupe. My hubby and I were shown this amazing little growing project at our last parent-teacher interview.
Here is a picture of her little project. She actually got to take her little sprouts home today. I can’t believe how big they look!
Now, I’m not a person with the greenest of thumbs. While we do own a number of houseplants, the plants that we have are VERY low-maintenance…with the exception of my orchid, which is still has its flowers! That being said, after hearing from my daughter’s teacher just how easy it was to sprout some seedlings, I decided to give it a try. And guess what? It actually WORKED!
How to Grow an Urban Garden
So, my friends, I will impart my knowledge of urban gardening with you, so that you too can grow your very own fruits and veggies! Here’s how you get started:
- Eat some fruits and veggies, and save some seeds! At home, we’ve had success with tomato and red pepper seeds. You can also try cucumber. We’ve tried apple seeds, but the little buggers are hard to grow.
- Find a clear, plastic container with a lid. If you make salad at home, you can use the container that lettuce comes in.
- Poke some holes on the lid the container. Make sure that they’re evenly spaced, and that they’re good-size holes, about 0.5cm in diameter. I used a paring knife to poke the initial slits, and then rotated the knife to widen the slits into holes. You can also use a pencil to widen the slits.
- Take a piece of paper towel, and moisten it. Make sure that it’s quite wet.
- Place the seeds on the paper towel, spread apart evenly. Make sure that they’re not too crowded.
- Place the lid on, and leave the container in a sunny spot.
- Water daily.
- After a couple of weeks, place spouts in a cut-up egg carton with some soil. The egg carton should be cut up so that each egg compartment is intact. Each seed will go into its own little compartment. Be sure to place it back into the plastic container, and water daily.
- After a week or so, you can transfer the sprouts into pots (with soil, of course). I plan to keep mine indoors, but if you have a nice little garden, you can just plant the sprouts in your garden, and watch them grow!
A note about the red peppers. After a couple of days, the sprouts turn green and fuzzy. They almost look like they have mold growing on them. But it’s not. Keep watering, and you’ll see that they begin to sprout really nicely!
This is what we’ve grown at home so far. I’m pretty pleased with it, considering how this is our first time tackling this project! The unsprouted seeds are the apple seeds. I keep watering them just in case they decide to come out to play. That being said, I don’t expect much to happen with those. The other seeds, however, look awesome, and I can’t wait to post pictures of the “final” products!
So what are you waiting for? Go forth, collect seeds, and start your garden! It’s a great project to try with your kids, and you get some nice home-grown fruits and veggies out of it! Win-win!
Peace, love, and pics.
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