Story and photos by Lori Leigh
Why wait to plant seeds outside? You can start sunflower seeds in eggshells today, right inside your home.
Tall, beautiful sunflowers are a welcome sight around my chicken coop and run.
The sunflowers add a burst of color to our landscape and some needed shade for my ladies.
Although sunflowers mature fairly quickly, I just don’t want to wait. So, I got a head start this year, and you can too!
Starting sunflower seeds inside is easy, and you don’t need expensive containers or grow lights for this project. You can use eggshells for the pots, an egg carton to hold them in place, and a sunny window to help them grow.
The best time to start seeds indoors is 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost date in your area.
Last year, I shared how to start fruit/vegetable seeds in egg shells. You can read it here.
Make a meal where you need to use a lot of eggs (or save the shells overtime).
When cracking the eggs, crack them more toward the skinny top. This will leave a bigger growing area for your seeds to take root.
Wash out the shells and let dry.
When you are ready to plant the seeds, start by poking a hole (or two) in the bottom for drainage. Anything small will work – safety pin, push pin, sewing needle, or a nail are great options.
Fill with seed starting soil. Make sure that you use seed starting soil, not regular potting soil. The special mixture in the seed starting soil will help to properly nourish the seeds and give them a great start.
Place two or three seeds in the top of the soil. Barely cover the seeds with soil, then water.
Keep the soil moist, not too dry and not saturated. Trust me on this, I learned the hard way. Read about my failed attempt here. I find that a spray bottle works great to water the seedlings.
Keep in a sunny window and water as needed.
Be prepared to do a happy dance in a few days. Every time I see a new sprout, I still get so egg-cited!
Once the threat of frost has passed, I will plant the flowers and the egg shells (crushed a little) in the ground.
Happy Spring planting!