The secret to creating a quick and easy natural garden in any small container is the chia seed. Remember chia pets? They’re not just for 80′s era informercials anymore!
They are so easy, that even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can grow a magical fairy garden, or even dinosaur garden. Chia seeds are hardy and quick-growing. So quick, that your fairy garden will have its carpet of lush, sweeping greenery in less than a week. Here’s how:
You will need:
- Chia seeds. I bought my seeds online, but I also made a request to my local co-op grocery, and they now stock chia seeds, as well.
- A garden container. I’ve grown fairy gardens in a teacup before, but a wider area lets you make the set-up even more imaginative. In this particular project, my daughters created their fairy gardens in the lids of old cardboard cartons.
- Garden scenery. Anything tiny is perfect, whether it’s little fairy figurines or acorn cap teacups, or the dinosaur and pony toys that my own children prefer. Also think about adding natural elements, such as river rocks or seashells.
- Potting soil
- Spray bottle filled with water. I’d advise against using a recycled spray bottle, since any previously contained chemicals could poison the chia sprouts.
1. Pour a layer of pebbles into your container, leaving at least 2.5 inches at the top. The pebbles are essential for drainage and during the first days, you’ll be spraying your chia seeds often, and water-saturated soil is mildew-y soil!
2. Pour a layer of potting soil into your container, leaving at least half an inch at the top.
3. In a small container, stir together one part chia seeds to about four parts water, and let sit for at least 10-15 minutes. The amount of chia seeds that you need will very depending on the size of your garden. One tablespoon of chia seeds will grow a garden in a couple of coffee cups, and 1/3 cup of chia seeds was plenty for both of my daughters’ box lid gardens and a wine glass garden centerpiece for my table.
If you do have chia seeds left over, they are edible, and quite wholesome.
5. Sit your garden in a spot where it can get some sun, and over the next few days, spray it every now and then with water. I tend to give the garden a spritz or two whenever I walk by them, but don’t panic if you do let them dry out for a bit. Chia seeds are very hardy, they may just sprout more slowly if neglected some.
6. In a couple of days, you may begin to notice the chia seeds sprouting, and in three to four days, you’ll see the green sprouts begin to grow. Keep spraying them with water, but as the sprouts grow taller, they’ll need it less and less.