Works for Me Wednesday: How Does My Garden Grow?

July 12, 2006


In the past, my attempts to grow plants from seeds have failed miserably… to the point where the only plants I attempt to have in my yard are ones that I buy pre-grown and then transplant. But earlier this year I was feeling particularly cautious about how we were spending our money, so I decided to try seeds again. Sophia and I picked out two vegetables and two flowers. We planted the flower seeds outside and delaying planting the vegetable seeds because I just couldn’t find a spot of land that got enough sun. (Seriously. Our back yard isalsmost entirely shady. The front yard is not so bad, but who wants a vegetable garden in their front yard?)

So I never got around to finding a spot that would be suitable for the veggies, but it bothered me that I hadn’t even tried to grow them, so I finally decided to start growing the seeds indoors and see what happened. I was inspired by some marigolds that Sophia was given in a Sunday School lesson. The seeds were planted in a dixie cup which we kept on her window sill. With time and water, they sprouted and grew! When they got bigger and crowded each other in the little cup, I transplanted them outside and they are now blooming.

Anyway, I used a method I had read about years ago — put seeds in a wet paper towel, seal it inside a wet ziploc bag, and leave it someplace warm. A week or so later, voila! I had some sprouting lima beans:


(The stem broke on that one because there wasn’t enough room for it in the bag; it grew so fast!)

I’ve transplanted the sprouting beans and this is what they look like now, getting ready to make their own baby beans:


And the flower seeds that we put straight into the ground? Nothing. So from now on any time I decide to plant something from a seed, I’m starting it indoors first with the wet paper towel andziploc method. I have a brown thumb and it’s the only thing that’s worked for me. 🙂



  1. We did this with the kids when I taught toddlers and 2’s. The great thing was that we taped them up high on the window where little hands couldn’t reach them.:-) Thanks for the reminder about this. Next year, I’ll have to try my own seeds this way.

  2. My kids would have a blast with this! Thanks for the tip.

  3. Great tips for someone who has an (admittedly) black thumb! Thank you!

  4. Beautiful, great idea!

  5. I’m so scared when it comes to seeds….but it is the cheapest way. My daughter seeded some marigolds this year and let me tell you they are prettier than any small plant one I’d buy in the garden center anyday. She had a blast seeding them.

  6. Ooh, I love this idea, would it work with watermellow seeds, do you think?

    I posted a WFMW idea as well. Stop by and take a peek. 🙂

  7. I have enjoyed your blog. Please take a look at mine about gardening

  8. I too inherited the brown thumb. Perhaps this method would work for me as well…

  9. Ooo, great idea! That’s how I start my peppers, and I toss em on top of the fridge because it’s nice and warm up there and peppers are finicky. Seeing the seeds sprout is great instant gratification for the kids (okay, and us moms too!). Glad you’re happy with your garden!

  10. great idea i did the same thing 4 my science fair project!

  11. I did the same thing 2! I did this 4 my science project!

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