Fun Edible Garden Activity for the entire family to enjoy
Early spring is a great time to plant an edible garden. Showing kids where food comes from and how it grows is a valuable lesson. Try planting seeds indoors in a paper egg carton or paper towel rolls. Once those seeds sprout you can transplant them into larger containers or a garden bed. Containers can be as creative as you can imagine, just make sure to create holes on the bottom so excess water and moisture can escape.
To start seeds in an egg carton simply cut along the folded seam. Flip the top, place it under the egg carton for support, and fill with dirt. Now its ready to plant a seed in each pocket. Find a sunny spot for your seeds to sprout, maybe near a window. Mist daily with water to assure that your seeds stay nice and moist. Once those seedlings pop up replant them into larger containers or a garden bed. Carefully tear each section and create a small hole at the bottom so that the roots can make their way through. Then replant the seedling in its egg carton vessel directly into a pot or the ground. Make sure the plants get plenty of sun and water. When your plants have matured, enjoy harvesting them and incorporating your own homegrown veggies into a delicious meal for your family.
To plant seeds in paper towel rolls cut rolls 4-5 inches long. Then cut four slits on one edge at an equal distance from one another, equally a centimeter in length. You can draw it out for little ones so they know where to cut. Then fold the four flaps inward, onto one another and secure. This will prevent the dirt from falling out. Repeat this step with at least 3 rolls. Then place rolls right side up in a container that will help keep them snug or, secure them together with a rubber band and place in a container. Now you are ready to add dirt and plant your seeds. Once your seedlings sprout, replant them into a pot or the ground in their paper containers or, gently peel the container back and plant.
Here’s a list of some great veggies you can plant if you live in the low desert for example, Maricopa County: squash, cucumber, muskmelons, watermelons, pumpkin, peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, okra, sunflowers, hibiscus, string, pole beans and basil.
For more information visit: Growing tips for southwest gardening – Native-Seeds-Search
Where can I get seeds?
The Garden shop is a good place to get packaged seeds but you can also get seeds from some organic fruits and vegetables. Take watermelon seeds for instance. The next time you bite into a juicy watermelon, save those seeds and dry them out before you try planting them. You can also visit Native Seed Search or your local library for seeds. For more information visit: Start a Fall Garden with Seed Library! (phoenix.gov) or nativeseeds.org