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Great Seed Starting Project for Kids
And that's it! Your seeds should germinate in 5 to 7 days, probably sooner. Once they
grow tall enough to where they can no longer fit under the dome, I like to plant them in
their own individual pots, if the outdoor temps are not ready for transplanting.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
You can use a variety of items to start your seeds in, from your garden's
own soil, to a mixture of equal parts compost, perilite and peat. While
other methods will be just as fun to do with your kids, mine really
enjoyed using the seed starter pellets. This particular box of 72 (refills)
cost me $5.99 at Home Depot. You can also buy a propagation dome
(you will see this shortly) which include the pellets. They range in price
from $1.99 up through $9.99 depending on how advanced you want to
Have your kids place the pellets in a plastic tray. The one in this photo
is a smaller propagation dome that holds 12 pellets. It costs $1.99 at
Home Depot and comes with the 12 pellets. Since I have had this one
for a few years I needed to buy the replacement pellets as shown in the
previous step. My 2 year old and 4 year old enjoyed putting the pellets
in the tray.
Using a plastic cup, fill with warm water...not hot and not cold ... WARM
water. While the pellets will expand on hot water, it does not make for a
great environment for the seeds. Cold water will "eventually" get the
seed pellets to expand ... do you have an hour or so? Warm water will
make them expand instantaneously.
Here are what the pellets look like once they have expanded.
Have your kids choose something they would like to grow. In my son's
case, here we are planting broccoli. What can I say, I am lucky, the
young man loves to eat broccoli, so growing it makes perfect sense.
Just remember the smaller the seeds you choose the more likely your
child will pick up A LOT of them at once and plant a bunch in each
pellet. It's not really a big deal, you will have to go back later after they
sprout to thin each pellet out. Once they reach the top of the dome,
carefully use a pair of scissors and snip the extras leaving 1 or 2 plants
behind. Using larger seeds makes this easier (i.e. squash, watermelon
Have your child put the dome on top. This helps seal in the moisture
and create a greenhouse. A constant temperature and moisture level
will exist, making for a perfect seed starting environment. If you are
using your own home made tray you can cover with clear plastic wrap
and that will serve the same purpose.
Place the finalized tray with pellets, seeds and dome on a window sill
that receives sunlight first thing in the morning. For faster germination,
place it on the same window sill NEAR (NOT ON) a heater vent.
CAUTION: NEVER PUT IT ON THE HEATER VENT!
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