It gets to be that time of year when Winter is waning every so slowly, and there’s a hint of warmer temperatures in the air. Within that last winter month, I feel ready for a change of color from the stark winter white snow and gray trunks of trees and branches outside. A change is soon come. Spring. The season of new life and renewal. Sigh. It stirs the heart to a remembrance of warmer days ahead, and somehow, if you can just get through these remaining weeks of Winter, Spring will arrive with her green shoots of celebration to life.
If you live in an area where you usually have to wait until after Mother’s Day or frost to plant your seeds, you may consider making an indoor garden of seedlings to speed up the process. I also love doing this because it makes my heart happy to see something green in my home. Now you can go to the store and buy starter growing kits of course, but I have found them expensive and I can make a simple DIY kit at home with a simple refrigerator staple. Eggs.
Permanent marker to label eggshell
Spoon—to put soil in eggs
Garden gloves (optional)
Spray bottle (optional)
Pin or safety pin (to poke hole in base of egg)
This is also a fun activity to do with kids and their little fingers, even though it may be a little messier with them, it will be memorable. Kids love to help make their own piece of a garden. My kids also love to water and “feed the babies” as we liked to call them each day.
As a general rule, most annual vegetables can be grown indoors about 6 weeks before your last frost in your area. However, I like to do mine about 3-4 weeks before planting outdoors, because I find when my plants get too long or stringy they break in the wind where we live.
What type of seeds to buy?
Some seeds that are great for indoor planting are—peppers, pumpkin, basil, zucchini, cantaloupe, watermelon, squash, thyme, zinnia, nasturtium, and cosmos.
I don’t recommend, beans, peas, carrots or other vegetables that can be planted in the ground early spring anyway.
How to make your indoor garden
Step 1. You can prep for your indoor garden by using eggs and keeping the rinsed eggshells in a safe spot for when you are ready to make your garden. When you crack the eggs, try to do so from the top upper third of the egg to keep as much of the eggshell as possible. If your egg cracks into a mess, who cares, try again. At least you have an egg to eat for later right?
Step 2. Rinse the eggshells once you have removed the egg and yolk.
Step 3. Poke a little drainage hole on the bottom of each egg to let water drain from watering.
Step 4. Fill the eggshell up 2/3 with potting soil. You can then plant the little seed in the depth that the package says.
Step 5. I like to use a spray bottle because it keeps the seeds from getting disturbed with a large wave of water from the watering can. A spray bottle keeps the seedling better in place.
Step 6. Place seedlings in a well-lit area. Water/spray frequently, maybe even daily, especially if you see the dirt is dry, and wait for your little baby seedlings to grow.
When you are ready to transplant your little “babies” as we like to call them, gently break the eggshell to loosen it, but you do not have to remove the whole shell. The eggshell has excellent nutrients to help your plant grow. Then plant into your prepped garden outside. Be sure to plant in nutrient-rich soil and make sure the big clumps of dirt are broken down.
I hope you enjoy your new spring garden as much as I do each year.