Have your ever used egg cartons as seed starters? They work really well ... especially for young gardeners!
Egg cartons as seed starters are great because they are:
- environmentally friendly (recycled junk)
- cheap and readily available
- easy to pull apart when the seeds have grown and need to be planted out
- can be composted when you've finished with them ... more recycling!
However, this post isn't so much about gardening (I confess my gardening skills are pretty much non-existent) but about children doing the gardening!
Recently, the boys have been showing a keen interest in growing plants.
Therefore, off we went to our local hardware store to purchase some seeds. This proved to be an excellent opportunity to work in some maths by comparing sizes, colours and shapes of seeds.
How to Use Egg Cartons as Seed Starters
Children can very easily prepare egg cartons for their seeds. It's a simple and quick process.
Simply fill the egg cartons with potting mix and plant the seeds.
Use craft sticks to label the rows so you know which types of seeds are in which rows. This is a good way to introduce some writing and literacy skills into the project.
Once planted, water the seeds very gently with a fine spray.
Cover the egg cartons with cling wrap. This helps to keep the seeds moist by creating a green house effect.
The only thing left to do is to keep checking to see when the seeds have sprouted.
Once the seeds have sprouted, remove the cling wrap and water seeds normally.
After the seedlings grow bigger, it's easy to tear the egg carton apart and transplant the seedlings to their garden bed or pot.
We were all amazed how quickly the lettuce and pea seeds have sprouted. They've only taken 3 days!
Daniel was thrilled when his pea seed sprouted before all the others. Yes, that little light speck in the pot is his newly sprouting seed. This particular pea sprout has since been moved onto the kitchen table where it can be more closely observed by it's happy owner!
Planting seeds is a terrific way for children to:
- Compare seeds - discover how size, colour and shape varies between different types of seeds
- Record how long it takes for different types of seeds to sprout
- Observe the changes seeds undergo as they sprout and
- Measure plant growth.