The kids and I decided last week that it was time to start planting some seeds which would eventually be transplanted outside. Ethel got a very cool set for Christmas, and has been chomping at the bit to open it up. Containing basil, zinnia, and sunflower seeds, I couldn't wait, either! Two weeks ago we followed the directions carefully, and Ethel has reminded me daily to check our seeds. The kids were soooo excited when they finally saw sprouts!
Here are our seedlings today:
|Left to right: zinnia, sunflowers, basil|
I add all my kitchen scraps to this thing, from tea bags, coffee grounds, egg shells and banana peels. I keep a plastic coffee 'can' on my kitchen counter next to the sink, and when it's full I take it to the Machine and dump it in (as long as I can get to it, and it's not blocked or covered by snow). On weekends when I can maintain it, I add grass clippings, leaves, newspaper, and other brown matter as needed. In the spring and fall I add soil from the very back of the lot, as it's wet soil that is rich in nutrients itself, and very helpful to the compost. I try to remember to turn it several times throughout the warmer seasons (basically the summer). This really just entails a shovel and garden pick, and moving it around inside the Machine.
When I opened the trap door (which you can see at the bottom of the Machine) this morning, I found nice, healthy, black compost. I looks like dirt, is moist like mud, and is filled with good sized worms. Yes, my worms are alive and well in the Machine! I'm so thrilled. Seriously. Ethel was equally excited that we have so many worms, as she's a big worm lover. Eew. OK, I digress.
So I opted this morning to add my compost to our seed starter potting soil for our yellow and red tomato, green pepper, clover, and some seeds which Ethel got in a Valentine this year. I don't know what kind of seeds this small wonder contained, but it was very cool. I haven't been able to find anything like it on the web, and didn't get a pic before we planted it. Basically, it's a small piece of biodegradable paper with seeds pressed into it, which you soak in water, then plant directly in soil. It's so cool! I think it's a wild flower mix, but, will reserve further comment until we see some sprouts.
We took an old egg carton (luckily I'd used all the eggs just last night) and two cups from the House of Evil (Chuck E Cheese). The cups have two nice holes in the bottom for optimal drainage. I'm quite miffed with my camera at the moment, as it seems to be having issues keeping the batteries charged, so I had to settle with only getting pictures of the planted seeds, rather than documenting the whole process as I'd hoped to. The kids looked so cute in their pint-sized garden gloves. Again, I digress.
When all was said and done, we planted our seeds in our desired containers, and the kids have checked on them three times today already. We set them on a large table where I have my African Violets, as it gets full Eastern exposure, and is in our living room which is bright and sunny all day (windows on the East, South, and West in this room).
Here is our little garden-to-be:
Yeah for spring!