|be creative | March/April 2016
An eggcelent way to start seeds
by Chelle Timmreck
Jumpstart your garden
Every spring, I get planting fever -- this urge to get my plants into the dirt and reap the tasty bounty early. This anticipation starts building in January, but I know I have to wait until the North Dakota weather is ready to cooperate. Starting plants indoors is a great way to get a jumpstart on your garden and flowers. When starting plants indoors, we have lots of choices to start them in; but I have found eggshells to be a great choice.
Not only are they cute, easy as pie and add personality to a room, but they have a bonus: they help the environment. Eggshells are biodegradable and add calcium to the soil. They also ward off slugs and snails, keeping young plants safe. With these eggshell planters, you can be creative with what seeds you plant (carrots, chives, lettuce and chia are excellent options) and give them each different personalities in the way you decorate them. Have fun, and keep in mind these make a great Easter present for the gardener in your life!
"Egg"celent seed starters
Supplies and tools:
Awl/needle - anything long and sharp
Food coloring or acrylic paint
Optional: Miniature clay pots or egg cups for display
1. Take an egg and crack off the top one-third; empty it out. This can be done with a small knife or tapping against the side of a dish.
2. Wash in warm soapy water or, to protect against salmonella, boil the eggshell for at least five minutes after the insides have been removed.
3. Poke one small hole at the bottom of the shell after they are cooled. This is for drainage.
4. Decorate your egg by using acrylic paint or food dye to add facial details and personality. Do not use oils or other materials that are toxic; check the label to see if it is biodegradable if you aren't sure.
5. Fill your egg with moist potting soil and add your seeds. Herbs for the kitchen or flowers make great indoor planters too, but be careful they aren't too large. If you'd like to keep them indoors as a décor piece, use Chia or rye grain seeds.
6. Eggs won't stand up on their own, so either place them in an egg carton for easy storage or an egg cup to display.
7. Follow directions on seed packets for sun or partial sun, and display your planters accordingly. Mist with water daily.
8. As the plants grow, be sure to style their "hair". Be creative!
9. When the plants are ready to be planted, simply crack the shell slightly and place your egg directly into the ground.
Chelle Timmreck has been crafting for over 42 years. The original owner of Urban Girl, Chelle does sculpting, sewing, beading, stained glass, quilling and paints with acrylic, watercolor and her new favorite, alcohol ink. Her motto? "Craft until your fingers fall off, then hot glue them back on and keep on creating".