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Holding Down the Fort: Bring Nature to Your Doorstep

Posted on May 14, 2020

Who’s catching a little bit of cabin fever?

Just because you can’t be at the lake and immersed in nature, doesn’t mean you can’t bring nature to you. There are so many ways to surround yourself with the wonders of wildlife, starting by bringing pollinators to your garden.

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Creating an egg carton nursery is an easy way to attract helpful bees to your garden using household items, and creates an opportunity to talk to your children about the importance of bees in nature. 

Materials

  • Egg carton (preferably paper, not Styrofoam)
  • Pencil
  • Potting soil
  • Plate or tray
  • Bowl
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Seeds (bees especially like flowers including alyssum, geraniums, poppies, aster, lavender, and black-eyed Susan)
  • Coffee grounds (optional)
Bumble bee sitting on a purple flower in summer

Directions

  1. Use a pencil to carefully poke three small holes in the bottom of each individual egg cup. Fill each egg carton cup three-quarters full with potting soil. As an option, you can mix used coffee grounds with soil in a ratio of three-quarters soil to one-quarter coffee grounds.
  2. Place a few seeds in each cup, then cover with a thin layer of soil.
  3. Place the egg carton on a waterproof plate or tray and set it in a warm, sunny spot inside your house.
  4. Spray a small amount of water on the carton every other day, keeping the soil moist but not soaked. If you see water coming out of the bottom of the egg cups, you’ve used too much!
  5. Keep seeds indoors for four to five weeks. Once the seeds sprout and have multiple sets of strong leaves, they can be taken outside. Egg cartons made of paper can be planted directly into the ground because they will biodegrade. Cartons made of Styrofoam will not break down — if you’re using one, remove the plants and soil and transplant them into the ground or larger pots. 
Bee sitting on white flower in summer

Looking for more ways to connect with nature?

We’ve designed resources to help bring education and nature together, all from home. Check it out!