SPROUTS – Bottle Gardens

Materials

large clear jar with wide opening and lid
clear tape; old spoon; a cotton ball; two long skewers
gravel or small stones; potting soil mix; small indoor plants

* to make long handled tools that will reach into your jar
tape the spoon to one wooden skewer
tape the cotton ball to the other wooden skewer

Instructions

find a work surface that can be wiped clean

spoon about 3cm of gravel into the bottom of the jar
add about 6-7cm of potting soil mix and gently press

use the spoon to make a hole in the potting soil
add one of the plants and press the soil gently in place

use as many plants as you have to fill your jar
or place one in the center and let it grow

dip the cotton ball in water and squeeze it out
use this cleaning tool to wipe the sides of the jar

Finishing

remember to clean your work surface and tools

place your bottle garden in a bright area out of direct sun

water the bottle garden once a week to start,
paying attention to how much water is left each time
some plants dry quickly, others don’t need much water

over time as your bottle garden grows you can remove
some plants to make space, or add new ones for interest

Download Activity as PDF

April 7 - SPROUTS - Bottle Gardens - Garddwest EcoEducation

GOING GREEN – Bottle Gardens

Materials

large clear jar with wide opening and lid
clear tape; old spoon; a cotton ball; two long skewers
gravel or small stones; potting soil mix; small indoor plants

* to make long handled tools that will reach into your jar
tape the spoon to one wooden skewer
tape the cotton ball to the other wooden skewer

Instructions

find a work surface that can be wiped clean

spoon about 3cm of gravel into the bottom of the jar
add about 6-7cm of potting soil mix and gently press

use the spoon to make a hole in the potting soil
add one of the plants and press the soil gently in place

use as many plants as you have to fill your jar
or place one in the center and let it grow

dip the cotton ball in water and squeeze it out
use this cleaning tool to wipe the sides of the jar

Finishing

remember to clean your work surface and tools

place your bottle garden in a bright area out of direct sun

water the bottle garden once a week to start,
paying attention to how much water is left each time
some plants dry quickly, others don’t need much water

over time as your bottle garden grows you can remove
some plants to make space, or add new ones for interest

Download this Activity as PDF

April 7 - GOING GREEN - Bottle Gardens - Garddwest EcoEducation

PLANT LIST: Easy Seeds to Save

garddwest seed saving plant list

** some seeds are easier than others to save, certain seeds require specific techniques and many hybridize

Have you ever scooped pumpkin seeds before carving a jack-o-lantern?  You were halfway to “Seed Saving”, and  if you cleaned them for roasting, you were almost there!

Instead of roasting the pumpkin seeds, simply cleaning and air drying them will provide you ample seeds to grow more pumpkins next spring.  All seeds of the Cucurbitaceae family can be saved this way – squash, pumpkins, some gourds, zucchini, cucumbers, melons.  You may already be familiar with “seed saving” peas and beans, if you have ever forgotten a few pods on the vine.  When harvesting your beans and peas, leave a few pods on the plant to turn brown.  Remove the hardened seeds from the pod and ensure they are entirely dry before storing.

Save seeds from fruit or vegetables you grow yourself, or purchase produce from local farmers, markets or gardeners to ensure suitable seeds for your climate.

There are so many different reasons to save your own seeds – from breeding your own garden favourites to trying new farmers-market specialties, you can grow varieties you might never be able to purchase.  Cost-effective, one tomato can produce more seeds than a shopping basket full of seed packets!  Using locally-adapted seeds will increase diversity while strengthening the health of your garden.  Even if you just save seeds from just one variety you have come to love, and continue to purchase the rest of your seeds, the results are still very rewarding.  Saving your own seed is a fun, economical way to get a jump on next year’s gardening season!

HOW TO – Seed Saving 101

CLICK HERE for basic instructions