Winter Gardening

Although it’s winter, we were hit by a glorious warm spell about a week ago and I was overwhelmed by the planting bug. Now that the rain is back, what’s especially timely about this activity is that it’s all about bringing the outdoors inside. So, for my snow-bound friends out there, this easy gardening project may make you almost believe that Spring is right around the corner.

We started with a bag of wheat berry seeds that I got from a local farmer. You can also find them at just about any health food store. These are the ones they use to make wheatgrass, and I chose them because I heard they grow fast. This is no joke, they sprouted up almost immediately, and the grass was 7″ tall after just one week!

Day 1

We soaked the seeds in water overnight (about 12 hours), and then dried them out for another 12 hours.

Day 2

I poked drain holes in the bottom of a clean clamshell salad container (go recycling!!) and then filled it with some organic seed starting soil that I found at our neighborhood Hardware store. I love this little store, and all of the good people who work there. Is your hardware store the same?

Filling the container with soil and watering it really well. The spoon is for mixing. This may have been THE BEST part of the activity for my two and a half year old. Following this picture, there was dirt EVERYWHERE!

Filling little biodegradable pots (similar to these) with planting soil, and moistening the pots really well. Once the seedlings are strong, the whole container goes right into the ground. I’ve since found tutorials for making our own seedling containers from newspaper and cardboard egg cartons. They look really simple and incorporate recycled materials! Needless to say, I can’t wait to try both methods next time around.

N distributed the seeds amongst the pots.

So that you could barely see the soil.

And then watered them. I think the seeds can sit right on top of the soil, but I covered them lightly with a little bit more dirt.

She distributed the extra seeds all over our sad winter garden, hoping some of the seeds would catch. We watered our indoor seeds for one week, this is what our garden looks like…

Day 7

I swear, I’ve never seen anything grow this fast! We sprayed twice a day, to keep the soil nice and moist.

And often got impatient, and far preferred POURING water on our plants.

So I devised this much more elegant solution.

I just discovered that the fabulous Marie at Make and Takes experimented with growing grass in tons of different pots and planters — lots of good ideas there for planting pretty grass.

Now the big question — what to do with all of this wheatgrass??

Has anyone had luck feeding wheat grass juice to a toddler?

Comments

  1. Aleksandra says

    Love it! It’s so cheerful to have that fresh green inside, especially now that it’s raining. I have to go to Whole Foods later today to grab a couple of things, and I’ll look for the wheat berry seeds there. Hopefully they have some! If not, do you have another suggestion for where to look? Thanks, and happy planting! :)

    • rachelle says

      It is SO cheerful I love it too :) Yes, they have them in the bulk section at WF. I haven’t tested them, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t work.

  2. Allison says

    Many cats, especially indoor cats, love chewing on wheat grass. I grow grass for mine from time to time, in feeble attempts to distract them from eating the more permanent houseplants. Maybe you have a cat friend who could use a present?

    (I love your blog, by the way! My first baby will be here soon, and I’m enjoying getting excited about all the fun we will have in a year or two.)

    • rachelle says

      We’re not a cat family (darn allergies!), so this would have NEVER occurred to me. Thanks for the good suggestion. And what an exciting time this is for you!! Congratulations! Wishing you lots of good sleep and an easy delivery.

  3. says

    Am I evil if I put such a garden under my roof leaks? >;)

    We could definately use some green here in Vermont; even your ‘sad’ winter garden looks refreshing to me!

    • rachelle says

      Why not! I bet it beats a bucket :) This post is just for you, Siggi, and all of my snow-bound friends. It’s pouring here, if it’s any consolation.

  4. Carissa says

    You could add the wheat grass to a smoothie for a toddler. I make “green” smoothies for my toddler with a little bit of leafy greens because of his iron deficiency. I use OJ, frozen or fresh fruit, a little leafy greens, and avocado (if I have it) and honey or agave if it needs sweetened…but I leave out the yogurt because the calcium inhibits the iron absorption (but it makes for a sweeter and creamier smoothie if you aren’t worried about the iron). I don’t see why you couldn’t add wheat grass (or the juiced wheat grass).

    • rachelle says

      Thanks for the great suggestion and iron-related tips. My wheatgrass juicer arrived in today’s mail, and I’m excited to give this a try. My daughter stopped drinking smoothies when she saw me slip some spinach in one not too long ago, but you just never know!

  5. says

    How fun! What a great way to brighten up the winter days :) We have some flower and vegetable seeds growing that need to be transplanted over into some larger pots this weekend — I really like your idea of putting everything in a big plastic tub!

    ~Michelle @ 5MFSN

    • rachelle says

      i didn’t know that about it, either, and ended up buying a juicer just so that we could keep up with the quantity!

  6. says

    You might be setting up a site to get your hobby online, and that’s perfectly okay.

    You can also use a shopping cart of your choice if you want to.
    Yahoo hosting actually focuses on customers using the
    built-in Yahoo hosting site builder to create and design their
    websites.