We use this as a learning experience as well! Throw a little home school in while we are at it.
We read How a Seed Grows. And learned about the process in which a seed grows!
This year we are planting carrots, spinach, lettuce, basil, rosemary, cilantro, thai chili peppers and strawberries.
You must consult a zone map to see what zone your in.
What are Zone Maps...you ask?
Gardeners need a way to compare their garden climates with the climate where a plant is known to grow well. That's why climate zone maps were created. Zone maps are tools that show where various permanent landscape plants can adapt. If you want a shrub, perennial, or tree to survive and grow year after year, the plant must tolerate year-round conditions in your area, such as the lowest and highest temperatures and the amount and distribution of rainfall. (from http://www.garden.org/)
This is a helpful website to determine your zone based on your zip code. It also has very useful information on many gardening subjects.
egg carton(s) and/or plastic strawberry carton(s)
vegetable friendly soil such as organic potting mix
seeds for planting in your zone
1) Take your egg carton and cut it into to two parts: top and bottom.
2) Using the skewer, poke 2-3 small holes in the bottom of each egg cup (or whatever they're called LOL).
3) Using a small scoop/shovel, put soil in each egg cup. Then place inside the top of carton. This will hold/catch your water.
4) Poke a small hole in soil with finger and place a seed in each cup. Cover with ~1/4" soil. Remember to use your permanent marker to label your cartons.
5) To gently water your seeds, filling the top portion of the carton with a little water. The place the bottom portion (with the soil in it) of the carton on top of the water. Use room temperature water. Plants do not like cold water. Cover your carton with plastic wrap to keep moisture level constant like a little greenhouse. Place in a sunny location where you will remember to water them like by the front door. ***Do not water them with a watering can. This will disturb your seeds. Check on them and continue to water them as mentioned above. If you notice just the top of the soil is dry, you can spray it with a spray bottle. REMOVE plastic wrap when seeds germinate or sprouts appear. Over watering is just as bad as under watering :)
6) This process can also be done with plastic strawberry cartons; however, do not cut the lid off. You can close the lid after watering to make your own little greenhouse. And the best part is it already comes with drainage holes. To water, place strawberry containers in a dish of room temperature water or better yet use styrofoam trays meat and vegetables come in at the supermarket.
Most seeds will germinate within 14 days!
Stayed tuned for Gardening 102 and more!
~Determining a location for your garden, preparing your soil, how to make easy raised beds
and container gardening. (I'm putting my degree to some use finally LOL)