Bee and Butterfly Garden Part 1 - Eggshell Seed Starter Pots

As part of an outdoor play area that I'm designing for my little boy I want to create a bee and butterfly garden with him. The idea is to clear out an old raised garden that I have; then plant lots of swan plants, as well as plants to attract bees and Monarch Butterflies. Sadly bees have joined the endangered list for the first time ever so this is how my 15 month old and I are going to do our little bit in our own backyard. 

We decided to start by planting wildflower seeds so we can watch them grow inside initially. I've just learnt that Mr Fothergill's wildflower seeds have been specially selected to provide a good source of nectar and pollen for the bees - so we're going to pick up a packet of these to plant next week too. We used McGregor's Wildflower Mixture this time. 

I chose to plant our seeds in eggshells for a couple of reasons - they're free,  when they're ready to be transplanted you can plant them directly into the garden (once you've crushed the bottom of the shell a bit so the roots can get through), they're biodegradable and also provide an excellent source of calcium to your little seedling. 

Here's what you will need: 

* Egg shells
* Seed raising mix
* A small trowel 
* A packet of wildflower seeds (Mr Fothergill's Wildflower Seeds, if possible) 

When you use your eggs during the week make sure that you only crack the top of the eggshell. I did this on the side of the bowl or frying pan like I normally do, but you could also simply cut the top off with a knife. I just found that I ended up with more little pieces of shell in my eggs so did it the other way. 

Once you've collected enough eggshells boil them in a pot of water for 3-4 minutes to ensure any bacteria is killed. Then set aside to dry. 

Use the trowel to add a little bit of seed raising mix to each of the eggshells. 

Sprinkle as few seeds as possible into each eggshell. They're meant to be sowed 5 cm apart, but it's near impossible to get only one of the fairy sized seeds into a single shell so we will split them up a bit later. 

A close up of our eggshell seed starter pot. 

Then sprinkle a little bit more seed raising mix on top. The seeds should be sowed 5 mm deep. Gently water and you're all done! 

A week later your eggshell seed starter pots should look something like this. 

Once they're ready to be transplanted into your garden carefully crush the bottom of the shells to allow the roots to come through and then plant in the garden (eggshell and all). You can also apply McGregor's FruitMax two weeks after germination for healthier plants. 

Bee and butterfly garden part 2 to come soon! Happy seed planting everyone x

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