Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentine for gardeners

Even though chocolate is usually the preferred treat of the day, I thought it was time to come up with a Valentine treat most gardeners would appreciate. This wasn't hard to make, it has no calories and is something a gardener can use and reuse. To me it is a Valentine favor that is perfect -- for Valentine's Day, for this time of year and for people who love to garden.

 These Valentine seed pots are great for starting seeds to plant in the spring.

I started by buying seeds and little pots at a discount store. The little pots were 54 cents each and I couldn't resist the little clay trays that go with the pots, also 54 cents. I looked for "Valentine" seeds or seeds with appropriate names. I found only Sweet Pea, Forget-Me-Not and Impatiens seeds. I was hoping to find others like Sweet William, but I would have had to order them. The seeds cost $1.19 to $1.39 per package.

I then painted the outside of the pots with easy-clean-up acrylic paint. I didn't paint the pots on the inside because paint is a chemical compound and I didn't want any chemicals to harm the plant. After they were dry, I sanded them lightly, then used a no scratch pad on them to give them a vintage, shabby sheik look. 

I had the option of buying potting soil or small compressed peat refills. The refills fit the pots perfectly. All that's necessary is to add water. The discs will swell and you can then put seeds into the peat and the seeds will only need time to grow. Of course, you will need to add light, but that is something that cannot be packaged -- a shiny window might do. They need to be kept moist so the seeds will sprout.

You can give a seed package or make packages as I did and divide a regular seed packet among the smaller ones. I didn't think there was a need for an entire package of seeds for such a tiny pot. I just downloaded a template by searching the Internet for seed package template, then choosing the one I wanted. After that, I added a little photo of the seed on the front with the name.

I also added instructions on the back.

Then I used a glue stick to seal the package, and I was done.

Given as a gift this way, assembly is required. I just sat the pots and seeds on a little piece of foam or cardboard and used clear poly wrap so the little pots and seeds will show through. I tied on a ribbon and then added a sticker heart.

I also made some single ones and thought conversation hearts would also be a good idea. These are just too cute.

If you don't want to go to all the trouble of making a seed package, just wrap the package around the little pot and finish the pot or use a miniature gift bags. It's all good and I am sure your gardening friends wish they had come up with the idea.

Actually, I must give credit to MarthaStewart.com for the original idea but I did add my own unique packaging ideas and you can too. Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Seed Starting!

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