Guest Author - Kimberly Misra
Making living Easter baskets is a fun way to celebrate spring and the return of the gardening season. A living Easter basket is simply a basket lined with real grass, rather than plastic Easter grass. Eggs and Easter treats can be tucked right into the growing grass. When Easter is over, the grass can be removed from the basket and planted outside.
Start your living Easter baskets two weeks before Easter to give the grass time to sprout and grow. You will need potting soil, a bag of quick growing grass seed, and an Easter basket for each child. Plastic weave baskets hold up better to soil and water than wicker baskets. If you'd rather use wicker baskets, just line them with plastic wrap to protect the bottoms. You may even want to line plastic weave baskets with the wrap to make them easier to clean.
Send the kids outside to gather small pebbles or gravel to place in the bottom of the lined baskets. The pebbles will help the soil drain better. Gather enough pebbles or gravel to cover the bottom of the basket with a thin layer. Fill the basket with potting soil, up to about two inches from the top, and lightly water the soil. The soil should be nice and damp, but not waterlogged.
Next, sprinkle grass seed all over the top. Don't be afraid to use a generous amount; lots of seed will ensure a thick covering of grass. Tamp the seeds down gently with your fingers to fix them in place. Use a spray bottle or mister to gently water the seeds. A spray bottle is easier than a watering can for
kids to use; it won't be as likely to wash the seeds away.
Place the baskets in a sunny windowsill and check on them daily. Mist the seeds with water as needed to keep them from drying out. After a few days, the seeds should begin to sprout. Once the grass is growing well, you can use a watering can to water it instead of the mister. Continue to be careful not to let the soil dry out or get too waterlogged. If your grass gets too long, just give it a trim with a pair of scissors.
After Easter kids can plant their grass outdoors, perhaps filling in a few bare patches in the spring lawn. The baskets can be washed out and saved for next year.