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Indoor Garden

Environmental expert Michael Fritzen explains how to start an indoor vegetable garden patch.

This project is great for people who love to garden but have no space, and as a learning project for kids, who will love the quick results.

Materials and Tools:

variety of seeds such as alfalfa, chia, radish, wheat grass or clover
shallow dish or bowl
napkins or paper towels
cookie cutter


1. Put a heaping tablespoon of seeds in a shallow dish or bowl, fill with water and soak the seeds overnight.

2. Place a folded paper towel or napkin on a plate and position the cookie cutter in the center of the paper.

3. Scoop the soaked seeds out of the water and deposit them in the middle of the cookie cutter. Spread out the wet seeds until they fill in the shape. You don’t want the seeds to build up too thickly in any spot. They will take longer to sprout and grow raggedy and out of control. Make a nice even layer.

4. Gently remove the cookie cutter.

5. Do not pour water directly on the design. Ladle water in carefully with a spoon.

6. Spritz seeds with a spray bottle twice a day. You will see growth in about two days. Keep it in a cool, dark space. The sprouts should be ready to harvest in five days.


  • You can also use a recycled milk carton for this project. Just cut the carton down to the bottom until it is about two to three inches tall. Line with a paper towel and proceed as above, with soaked seeds.

  • This project makes a wonderful table display when decorated with toys for a child's party, or with flowers or vegetables for a more grownup party.

  • Don't throw away the tops of beets or carrots when cooking. They can be easily sprouted in a shallow plate filled with water. They can be transplanted into dirt after two to three days (see photo at right).

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