Start Seeds in Your Windowsill

Enjoy this fun, inexpensive project--it's perfect for kids or just for you.
Ellen Ruoff Riley

Grow a handful of seeds on a sunny windowsill, and discover one of life's simplest pleasures. This almost-effortless activity promises hope, optimism, and a huge dose of gardening success.

Easy and Budget-Friendly
Purchase a pack of seeds such as moonflowers or morning glories. Their large size makes handling simple.

You'll need containers: clean, empty eggshells are perfect. You can also find peat pots and peat pellets at garden centers. Purchase a small bag of potting soil, and you're ready. Follow these steps, have a little patience, and marvel at your gardening expertise.

  1. Carefully nick each seed's edge with a nail clipper.
  2. Soak the seeds in water overnight to speed up germination. The next day, push each one into its container filled with moist potting mix. Peat pots and pellets drain well. If you use eggshells, poke several holes in the bottom for water to escape.
  3. Nestle the pots into a saucer filled with gravel, and cover them lightly with plastic wrap (do not form an airtight seal). Keep them in a warm place, out of direct sunlight, and slightly moist.
  4. Expect to see signs of life in about five days.Once you see that first green shoot emerge from the soil, remove the plastic cover, and place the new plants in a sunny spot. A few hours of morning light is best. Water the new plants as the soil begins to dry, and watch them grow. Plant outdoors in the garden or in containers.

Healthy Benefits
 

  • Gardening sparks optimism. Watch seedlings sprout and grow to nurture the feelings of success and wonder.
  • Sharing the new seeds and plants that this project produces encourages others to enjoy a gardening adventure.


 

"Start Seeds in Your Windowsill" is from the January 2007 issue of Southern Living.