My grandfather used to plant a huge vegetable garden every year, no matter that he lived right in the heart of Los Angeles. I remember growing up with fresh corn and zucchini from his harvest and seeing his huge stock of carefully caterogized and labeled seeds.
Now that my kids are getting a little older, I decided it was time for us to start planting a small vegetable garden and we are having fun observing our proverbial “garden grow.”
Please note: This post was originally created for PBS Parents Crafts for Kids and the original instructions are no longer available on their website. I’m including the original directions here now and if you’d like to see the new PBS post go here:
This is a favorite garden project for kids: Seed Starts using Egg Cartons. We might have actually overdone it this year as I have more seedlings than space! In any case check out how to start seeds over on PBS Crafts for Kids where I share the complete tutorial.
- Cardboard Egg Carton
- Potting Soil
- Seeds (recommend cucumbers or radishes as they are easy to grow)
- Spray Bottle
- Garden Trowel
Time needed: 20 minutes.
Plant cucumber seeds and watch them grow!
- Prepare the planter
Cut egg carton in half. Add potting soil to individual egg cups in carton.
- Add seeds
Poke a hole in the center of each cup. Place one seed in the hole. Cover with soil.
- Moisten the soil
Spray soil with water. Place on tray and take indoors.
- Water and wait
Keep the egg carton in a warm light filed location until they begin to sprout. Make sure to water seeds everyday. The soil should stay very moist.Once the look like the middle carton of seedlings in the picture below, they are ready to transfer.
- Transfer to a permeant location
Make sure the egg carton is very wet and saturated before moving the seedling outdoors. Tear off one of the egg carton cups.
- Place in the soil
Dig a hole in the container you are transferring to, using your trowel. Place the egg carton cup directly in the soil. It will decompose. Water your seedling!
In a month or so your plant should look like this!
- Before planting your seedlings it’s a good idea to take your tray outside and acclimate them to being outdoors. You can start by taking them outside in the shade for a day or two before transferring them.
- Birds love to eat seedlings! If you are planting a number of seedlings in a garden space you may want to lay a protective material over them as they begin to grow. A white sheet or plastic drop cloth will do the trick. Hold it in place with bricks.