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

GOING GREEN – Windowsill Edible Gardens

 

Materials

beans or seeds
lettuce/greens are ideal, or select DWARF varieties to plant
small amount of damp potting soil (not dripping wet)
paper towel, cup of water
jar lid or shallow dish with lip
recycled containers for planting

Instructions

fill each container with damp potting or seed starting soil
gently pat the surface but don’t press the soil too hard

sow seeds according to packet instructions
roughly as deep as the seed is large
i.e. 2cm bean, planted 2cm deep

small seeds can be scattered across the surface
of the soil, then covered with a thin layer of soil

for larger seeds, make a small hole in the soil wit
h
a pencil or skewer and gently push the seed into the hole

make sure all seeds are deep enough, and covered by soil
use a spray bottle to water thoroughly after planting

REMEMBER to label everything!

Finishing

place the containers on a bright windowsill out of direct
full-day sun, or plants may get too hot and “bolt”

water thoroughly and evenly every day
don’t let the plants dry out but don’t drown them either!

as the plants grow, thin out smaller or weaker ones

Download this Activity as PDF

MORE RESOURCES:

April 6 - GOING GREEN - Windowsill Gardens - Garddwest EcoEducation

SPROUTS – Windowsill Edible Gardens

 

Materials

beans or seeds
lettuce/greens are ideal, or select DWARF varieties to plant
small amount of damp potting soil (not dripping wet)
paper towel, cup of water
jar lid or shallow dish with lip
recycled containers for planting

Instructions

fill each container with damp potting or seed starting soil
gently pat the surface but don’t press the soil too hard

sow seeds according to packet instructions
roughly as deep as the seed is large
i.e. 2cm bean, planted 2cm deep

small seeds can be scattered across the surface
of the soil, then covered with a thin layer of soil

for larger seeds, make a small hole in the soil wit
h
a pencil or skewer and gently push the seed into the hole

make sure all seeds are deep enough, and covered by soil
use a spray bottle to water thoroughly after planting

REMEMBER to label everything!

Finishing

place the containers on a bright windowsill out of direct
full-day sun, or plants may get too hot and “bolt”

water thoroughly and evenly every day
don’t let the plants dry out but don’t drown them either!

as the plants grow, thin out smaller or weaker ones

Download this Activity as PDF

MORE RESOURCES:

April 6 - SPROUTS - Windowsill 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

FEATURE: Seed Saving 101

Saving your own seed is a fun, economical way to get a jump on next year’s gardening season!

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.  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.

Here are a few quick tips to get you started:

garddwest's seed saving guide

  1. Only select seeds from your healthiest looking plants.
  2. When your fruit or vegetables are fully ripe, harvest and remove the seeds from inside.  Other types of seeds will dry on the plant before you harvest.
  3. Rinse and remove wet plant material from wet seeds.  Brush and remove dry plant material from dry seeds.
  4. Air dry seeds thoroughly before packing, to prevent decay.
  5. Some seeds will require specialized “stratification” before or after storing.
  6. Keep your seeds out of direct sunlight in cool, dry location.
    (average shelf life: 2-3 years)

*** please note: these are broad, basic instructions to get you started.  Certain types of seed require specific seed saving techniques – further research may be required.