Basket Of Grass

basket of grassWe are on the countdown to springtime. Gardeners are already anxious to begin growing young plants and celebrating renewal. As they say in the North Country, we want to start “pushing the spring.”

Well, in the later winter I have an easy and enjoyable way to do just that. This is the time of year to grow a basket of grass. Yes, make an indoor lawn. A bright green container of turf makes a great early-spring centerpiece, a living Easter Basket, or a thoughtful gift for someone who is ill. It’s also a wonderful winter-day project for children.

You start with a low basket. A dime-store breadbasket or old Easter basket is fine. You might even have something left from a florist’s arrangement.

Line that basket with a piece of plastic; a square of a heavy garbage bag will do. Fold the edges down into the container so that they don’t show. Fill the container with potting soil that is already wet…it’s easier to pre-dampen the soil and then press it into the basket. You want the soil to fill and cover the plastic liner.

Scatter grass seed thickly on the surface of the soil…in your outside lawn you can wait for the plants to spread, but in your basket you want it thick and lush right away. Sprinkle a very thin layer of soil on top of the seeds, and moisten using the sink-sprayer. Finally, cover with clear plastic wrap and place in a sunny window.

Grass seed takes between 7 to 14 days to sprout, so keep an eye on the basket. As soon as the seed germinates, remove the plastic wrap. Water the basket when the soil’s surface feels dry, but be careful not to over-water or you’ll create a basket of swamp!

After three weeks or so, the grass will be about two inches long. Set it out as is, or decorate with small flowers, tiny garden tools, or any seasonal decorations. You can even add a potted primrose or some mini-daffodils from a greenhouse! Decorated or not, a basket of grass is an inexpensive and enjoyable way to “push the spring”…and you won’t have to mow it July.

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