Monday, April 8, 2013

Egg Carton Greenhouses

I wish I had a green thumb. 

Sadly, most things I attempt to grow die. This could be due to the fact that I forget to water them. 

But when I was at the grocery store, the spinning rack filled with lovely, bright and colorful seed packets called their siren song and I let my little girls help me pick some out. 

But then I wasn't exactly sure where to get these seeds started. I planned on starting them indoors. And I've seen loads of different ideas on Pinterest. I was thinking of making the little newspaper cups. But they seem a bit time consuming. And I wasn't sure what to put them on since I was planning putting the starts in our windowsills. 

Then I thought of using egg cartons. Probably because it was Easter time and we had boiled a gazillion and ten eggs. I googled around to see if this was done before and, sure enough, this seemed to be a great idea. 

I gathered my girls one morning last week, grabbed some potting soil and cups and we set to work. This was such a fun activity to do with them!

Molly obviously struggled a little with getting the dirt into the little cups, but oh well. It's just dirt!

We got all the cartons full. 

Then we started planting the seeds. It was fun to talk with Zoe about the different sizes of seeds and how that determined how deep they needed to be planted. We tried to guess how small the seeds would be by the sound they made when we shook the seed packets.

After they were all good and planted, Zoe wrote the name of the seeds on the side so we wouldn't forget what we planted. We watered them real good, let the cartons dry out and then placed them in the windowsills in our house.

I've been watering them and trying to keep the soil moist. But I was worried I wasn't giving them enough water. So, I did some more googling around about watering seeds and read something about watering your dirt really good and covering the containers with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. This creates a lovely little greenhouse and you don't have to water them again until they sprout! Once little bits of green shoot up, take the plastic wrap off and keep the soil moist. Brilliant!

Hopefully this helps with the whole "killing the plants because I don't remember to water them" thing.

I love how the egg cartons fit perfectly on our windowsills. And if someone accidentally knocks them off, no worries! They're in they're own little saftey bag. 

Emmett, my 11 year old, decided to do a science experiement with some cotton seeds he had from a field trip. He planted them and covered one with plastic wrap. He'll water the one without the plastic and we'll see which one comes up first. Fun!

Do you have a green thumb? Are you starting any seeds this year? 

Linking up to these fun parties...

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  1. This is such a great idea! What a clever way to make a greenhouse for starting seeds. I might have to use this idea in the future! Thanks for the inspiration :)

    Visiting from Eco Kids Tuesday!

  2. I'm going to try this with my milkweed seeds! Thanks for the tip!

  3. We're doing this right now too! I can't wait for gardening season to be in full swing!

  4. You're a genius and such a cute mom too! I love this!

  5. Great idea! I would love you to come join my Pin Me Linky Party that starts Friday morning at 8am CST. I allow up to 3 links each week!

  6. haha I posted about the same thing today!! So glad you shared it with us! I featured your post at Eco-Kids Tuesday!! Hope you come link up again today!

  7. Erin, I've done this so many times...marigold seeds are very rewarding for kids(and this big kid too!) because they're almost a non fail bloomers. Later on, pull the cartons apart, poke the bottoms and plant in container or ground. the egg cartons are bio degradable. (I guess) They do fall apart and "melt" into the soil.
    Hope you're feeling okay, my friend.

  8. Just found this post on pinterest and wondering how it turned out? Did the plants grow well? Which of the cotton plants came up first? I'm thinking about doing the same thing and wanted to do a little research first :

  9. thank you for ideas i am from montreal canada i can't wait i will start doing it today

  10. I would just like to know whether you poke little holes into the plastic, or is it altogether sealed?

  11. I have to say that this is just a great and fun idea for kids to do in their sparetime. Ofcourse over time, and nurture the plants themselves. Thank you for this wonderful idea for my 7 year old boy :)

  12. This is great I recently started the egg carton but the plastic bag is a great addition thanks for the idea. I'm going to try it now

  13. This is a great idea! I am planning my herb garden, and I love how easy this looks. My goal is to one day have a greenhouse, but in the meantime this will be perfect. Thanks for the post! :)

  14. Can you use a styrofoam egg carton? Can you use plastic sleeves from newspaper delivery (sometimes they are orange or yellow)?

  15. The idea of egg carton green house is so creative!And I think it will be helpful for children's intelligence! Thank you for sharing this DIY project.

  16. thanks for sharing this creative idea with us , i will also try it my own

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