Plant A Living Easter Basket

Plant A Living Easter Basket

Living Easter baskets are cheerful, fun, and easy to make. They make a pretty centerpiece or kitchen counter decoration, or a sweet gift for adults or children. Your basket can be decorated with eggs, candy or other treats, or small flowers can be tucked in once the grass has grown. It does take some advance planning, however, since grass seed takes 7 to 10 days to germinate. So this weekend is the perfect time to start such a basket. Here is what you do, along with some options to consider.

  • You will need: a basket that is wider than it is high. (Most will choose a basket with a handle, but this isn’t necessary.) You will also need some potting soil, a piece of plastic such as a part of a garbage bag, a small amount of grass seed, and a bit of clear plastic wrap.
  • Tip: use a dark colored plastic bag to line dark baskets, and a white bag to line light or white baskets.
  • Design idea: if you want to include a pot or two of spring flowers, put an empty plastic pot in the basket where those flowers will go once the grass has grown. Once the grass is growing you can slip out the empty pot and tuck a small daffodil, primrose or other flowering plant into that hole. (Note: doing it this way allows you to select the perfect flowering plant in peak bloom. If you planted the flowers in the potting soil before seeding they might die from being too damp while the grass is germinating.) See photo below for some baskets that we planted this way at HCG a few years ago.
  • Some baskets come with a plastic liner…if yours does, you can skip the step of using a plastic garbage bag.
Here is how a basket will look once the grass has grown to about four inches.

See the step-by-step photos below.

Here are the ingredients you need.
Step 1 is to line the basket with plastic. Do not make drainage holes. The grass and flowers will not be in this basket for months, so no drainage is needed…and you don’t want the basket to leak water where you have it displayed. Fold the edges of the plastic down, making sure that most of the interior of the basket is lined.
Fill your basket with damp potting soil. Press it into the plastic and basket gently.
Scatter grass seed thickly over the surface of the damp soil. Press it in lightly so that the seed makes good contact with the potting mix.
Cover the seed and potting mix with a loose piece of clear plastic wrap. Keep it loose and well above the damp seeds or it’s likely to mold. (See photo below.)
  • Place your basket in a bright window – it doesn’t have to be full sun. Water the seed gently every two or three days.
  • If you’re in a hurry, annual rye grass grows quickly. You can often find this sold as “Cat Grass” on our seed rack in the store.
See how the baskets on the bottom shelf have a plastic pot in the center? Those held the space so that pansies, daffodils or primroses could be tucked into that space.
This is an example of mold starting just as the grass is germinating. Check your basket daily and if you see this, remove the plastic and put the basket in a sunny window for awhile.
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