Growing Easter Grass: Making Real Easter Basket Grass

Growing Easter Grass: Making Real Easter Basket Grass

By: Mary Ellen Ellis

Growing Easter grass is a fun and eco-friendly project foradults and kids alike. Use any kind of container or grow it right in the basketso it’s ready for the big day. Real Easter grass is inexpensive, easy todispose of after the holiday, and smells fresh and green, just like spring.

What is Natural Easter Grass?

Traditionally, the Easter grass you put in a child’s basketfor collecting eggs and candy is that thin, green plastic. There are a lot ofreasons to replace that material with real Easter basket grass.

Plastic grass isn’t very environmentally friendly, either inproduction or in trying to dispose of it. Plus, small children and pets can ingestand swallow it, causing digestive issues.

Homegrown Easter grass is simply a real, living grass thatyou use in place of the plastic junk. You can grow any type of grass for thispurpose, but wheatgrassis a great choice. It’s easy to grow and will sprout into straight, even,bright green stalks, perfect for an Easter basket.

How to Grow Your Own Easter Grass

All you’ll need for homegrown Easter grass is some wheatberries, soil, and the containers in which you want to grow the grass. Use anempty egg carton, small pots, Easter-themed buckets or pots, or even empty,clean egg shells for a real seasonal theme.

Drainage isn’t a big issue with this project, as you’ll beusing the grass only temporarily. So, if you choose a container withoutdrainage holes, just put a thin layer of pebbles at the bottom or don’t worryabout it at all.

Use ordinary potting soil to fill your container. Spreadwheat berries over the top of the soil. You can sprinkle on a little soil overthe top. Water the seeds lightly and keep them moist. Put the container in awarm, sunny spot. A covering of plastic wrap until they sprout will help keepthe setup moist and warm too.

Within just a few days, you’ll start seeing grass. You onlyneed about a week before Easter Sunday to have grass ready to go for baskets. Youcan also use the grass for table decorations and flower arrangements.

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Grass: How to Grow Your Own for Tablescapes + Easter Baskets

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Grass, fresh and bright, is easy to grow for a festive centerpiece or Easter baskets.

Grass grown in pots, vases, and baskets is one of the most fun centerpieces you can use I think. Not only that, you can grow a pot of lush, green in about ten days. It grows fast once it starts.


DIY: Grow Your Own Wheat Grass Eggs

If growing your own Easter grass strikes you as a harebrained idea, well maybe it is. And maybe that’s the point. ‘Tis the season, after all. Before you dismiss this DIY as just another project for someone with too much time on their hands, reconsider it as an only-slightly-more-roundabout approach to making an omelet. And revel in the end result: a sweet spring-themed tabletop decoration that costs only pennies and demands only a modicum of patience.

Above: I started with standard brown eggs from the farmers’ market. Any egg will do–but I would have loved to see these sprouts coming out of pastel-colored or spotted eggs from Araucana or Welsummer hens, had I found those eggs at the market.

When I began to research how to grow wheat grass, I couldn’t find one definitive tutorial. Everyone seemed to have a different method: there were folks who soaked their grains just once before planting them and others with a more complicated triple-soak-and-rinse approach. I found one camp of enthusiasts who covered the tops of their seeds with soil, and others who let them sprout with no blanket of soil to protect them. The predicted sprout times varied wildly too: some said they saw sprouts in just a few days, others claimed sprouts came only after a week of waiting.

As usual: I wanted to find the least labor-intensive way. In the end, I made a dozen green-topped eggs. One set of six had drainage holes and seeds covered in soil, the other had no drainage and seeds left out to breathe. I didn’t bother to rinse or soak. All of my eggs sprouted cheery green tops. Turns out the instructions vary so drastically because just about any method will yield the desired results: green grass, fast.

Above: Step one is to rinse out the empty eggshells.

Above: Fill the eggshells with potting soil. Eggshells make pots to start any kind of seeds. To transplant seedings to the garden, crush the shell before planting so roots can grow.

Above: Sprinkle a dense single layer of wheat seed (also called wheat berries). No need to head to the nursery for seed I found mine in the grains section of a local organic market.

Above: Seeds will germinate on a sunny windowsill. Don’t worry too much about the seeds getting adequate sunlight–my eggs sprouted within three days in a north-facing window.

Above: Look for bright green tops after just three days and paler shoots even sooner.

Above: I used a White Porcelain Egg Carton by Seletti to prop my eggs on the tabletop $19 from Design Menagerie. A paper egg carton with the top cut off will work just as well.

Above: You also could grow wheat grass in a lined Easter basket to create a bed of fresh grass to hide chocolate eggs and jelly beans.

Above: Wheat grass eggs after six days.

Wheat Grass Easter Eggs

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups of potting soil
  • 1 cup (or so) of hard winter wheat
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Hand drill or needle

1. Using the back of a knife, carefully crack the very top of each egg. Use your fingers to pick the cracked shell apart, widening the hole until it’s big enough for the yolk and white to slip out easily. (Preserve the contents for use in an omelet later.)

2. Rinse the inside of the empty eggshells with warm water and a small bit of dish soap.

3. Use a small hand drill or needle to poke a drainage hole in the bottom of the eggs. (I skipped this step in one of my two trials and didn’t notice any difference. I also potted a glass jar of seeds just for fun and got a bushy crop of wheat grass in a vessel without any drainage.)

4. Mix 2 cups (or so) of potting soil with a small bit of water so it’s moist, but not soggy. Fill each egg with the soil.

5. Cover the top of the soil with a single layer of hard winter wheat. For thick grass, the wheat should cover all of the visible soil, but it shouldn’t be layered more than one seed thick. The eggs I topped off with a thin layer of soil seemed to yield tops that were slightly more lush than those I left bare, so feel free to add this step.

6. Water and place in a sunny window. Water daily. In both of my trials, I had green shoots within three days.

For more easy Easter projects see DIY: Hanging Easter Posies and DIY: Easter Egg Radish Centerpiece on Remodelista.

Finally, get more ideas on how to plant, grow and care for various grasses with our Grasses: A Field Guide.


Reusing Easter Grass

So, what if you just can’t part with the age-old look and feel of shredded plastic Easter grass?

Buy a bag, but reuse it for years. It’s one of the things that I’ve done. I actually have a couple bags of plastic Easter grass that I got in college. And I still reuse them today.

Rather than throwing out something that you already own (or can find in a thrift store or garage sale), just be mindful to use it year after year. I store mine in a zip top bag with the air pressed out to save space.


Craft An Eco-Friendly Easter

By Eren

Reading Time:

E aster is one of my favorite holidays, not only because of the religious aspect, but because it is a celebration of new life and reconnecting with the natural world awakening from its winter sleep.

Children dress in sweet Easter clothes and enjoy Easter egg hunts for chocolate and other sweet treats. Bunnies, chicks and ducklings abound. What’s not to love?

Unfortunately, Easter baskets have been traditionally filled with non-recyclable plastic eggs made in China, fake plastic Easter grass, and sugary candy made full of preservatives. The Easter baskets themselves are often made of un-recyclable plastic, and assembled in countries that have terrible records when it comes to human rights.

And there is just nothing natural about that.

But don’t hang the Easter bunny out to dry yet!

Here are a few ideas to make your Easter a little more eco-friendly.

Easter Baskets

If you have already purchased Easter baskets, plan on storing them and use them year after year.

If your child doesn’t have an Easter basket yet, consider the following options:

  • Repurpose a basket you already have on hand with a coat of spray paint. Or, the thrift stores are full of baskets waiting for a new home. The baskets seen in the photos were baskets I found at Goodwill and prettied up a bit with leftover spray paint.
  • Use something you already have as an Easter basket, like a beach pail or a galvanized bucket. If your daughter will have an Easter bonnet, turn it upside down and fill it with goodies. Plastic mesh storage containers with a ribbon tied as a handle will work. Lunch boxes and pillowcases also work well.
  • Choose a theme for your Easter gifts the container could be a new tackle box, a flower pot with gardening items, a purse, a backpack or a make-up bag.
  • If you are super crafty, here are some great ideas for making your own basket. Twig & Thistle has a great downloadable paper basket. For those of you who know how to sew, there is this great little basket, or this felt version from Maya*Made. And if you are really up for the challenge, this fabric basket from the Moda Bake Shop is to die for!

Now that you have your basket, what should go in it?

Easter grass, of course! But not that icky plastic stuff that gets all over your house. We have some better ideas.

Easter Grass

  • Shredded newsprint, brown paper bags or magazines make great Easter grass and can be tossed into the compost bin later or reused as packing material.
  • For a very natural look, you can line the basket with a pot and grow wheatgrass. But to do this, you’ll need 9-12 days for the grass to grow in, so you’d better get started. (See the tutorial on Simple Kids for more information on how to grow your own Easter Wheatgrass!)
  • Spanish moss makes great Easter grass and we’ve even lined our baskets with pine needles before.
  • Rafia is a good substitute for Easter grass as well and could be reused later.
  • Or decide not to use grass at all and line your basket with a gift item like a new beach towel or a soft pastel colored blanket.

Now your basket is ready to be filled with goodies!

Easter Basket Fillers

Start with items that are really wanted or needed by your children and definitely will be used. None of us need any more trinkety toys that will just end up in the donate pile.

How about an art themed Easter basket full of new art supplies and fun stickers and papers? Think of items that your children will be needing for warmer weather anyway, like new sandals or flip flops, sunglasses and water bottles. A few years ago, I filled my boys Easter baskets with summer beach toys, including a new swimsuit and goggles.

Easter Eggs

  • My family does not eat hard boiled eggs very well, so instead of cooking our eggs we blow the shells out and I scramble the eggs the next morning.
  • If you already have plastic eggs, store them afterward like you do Christmas decorations, and reuse them next year.
  • If you are dyeing eggs, consider using natural dyes from items you might already have in your refrigerator. Katie posted a great how-to for coloring eggs using all natural dyes. Check it out!

Treats and Sweets

There are a lot of options for filling Easter baskets with items other than candy. Think along the lines of things you would use for Christmas stocking stuffers. Here are some ideas to get you going:

  • Homemade play dough (recipe here)
  • Bubbles
  • Dried fruit, nuts, and natural fruit chews and roll ups.
  • Make a CD with their favorite songs or of yourself reading a favorite book
  • Coloring books
  • Crayons or markers
  • Puzzles
  • A Yo-Yo
  • Squirt Guns
  • Swim Goggles
  • Homemade egg shaped sugar cookies
  • Blow-up rafts and swim toys
  • Bouncy Balls
  • Silly putty
  • A Frisbee
  • Cards/ small games
  • Kid sized garden tools and seeds
  • Doll accessories
  • A jump rope
  • Books about spring
  • New tooth brush/paste
  • New flip flops
  • Hair bows, bands, ribbons
  • Stationary
  • Socks
  • Jewelry
  • Paper dolls
  • Chopsticks
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Pastel colored shoe laces
  • Spare change
  • Oh, the list could go on and on…

Let’s be honest. What is an Easter basket without a little chocolate?

Part of the celebration is celebrating how sweet this time of year is. Look for Fair Trade Certified chocolate choices. Read why you should choose Fair Trade here. Fair Trade chocolates can be found in most chain stores now. Being eco-friendly is easier than ever. Happy Eco-Easter Everyone!

What are your Easter traditions? Does your family do Easter baskets? What will you be filling your baskets with this year?


Grow your Own Easter Basket

Grow your Own Easter Basket

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Grow your own natural Easter grass filled basket…
Go Green this Easter and avoid purchasing fake harmful plastic grass that is used for a few hours and then tossed where it accumulates in landfills and finds it’s way into our water supply. Try using natural, healthy grass instead!

Simply Line an Easter basket with a bowl with a piece of repurposed plastic that you have lying around the house already, such as the bottom half of a milk jug or old shopping bags, fill it with potting soil and cover the top with several generous handfuls of quick growing grass-seed such as ryegrass.
Water and place in a warm, sunny spot.

As a bonus, once the holiday is over, the grass can be transplanted into bare spots in the lawn!

If you don’t have a cute basket, no problem, you can recycle a milk jug instead . . .

Cut an empty 1/2 gallon milk carton (to about 4 inches high). Create a handle with part of the leftover carton & staple to the basket.

Decorate the “basket” with cut out construction paper, stamps, wrap colorful ribbons around the “handle”. If you’d like a more rustic look, attach burlap ribbon around the sides.

Fill the basket with potting soil, and cover the top with a generous handful of grass seed. Water daily. Within 3-6 days your Easter grass will sprout. Fill your basket with decorated Easter eggs.

. © Can Stock Photo Inc. / sbworld9

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