Sunday, April 26, 2015

It Was Raining Outside, So We Built a Terrarium

Hi everyone! Stevie here. It's been kind of a gloomy weekend out. I shouldn't complain, Utah could definitely use the rain, but that's hard to explain to a four-year-old that just wants to go outside to work on her garden. Luckily, I just learned a fun new activity at my monthly "wine and something else club" with my lady friends this week. Terrariums! (It's a fun word to yell). Try it. TERRARIUMS! OK, maybe more fun to yell with wine, but this is the kid-friendly version. Still fun. Less wine.

So yeah, yesterday Duchess was bummed that we couldn't go outside and play because it was raining, so we decided to make our own outside, inside. Our own little world in a jar. The best part is, when done right, these can be self-sustaining eco-systems. You water it, the water condensates, then rains again. Science! TERRARIUMS!

Ok let's start with the supplies.

Terrarium supplies

You will need: 
  • A glass jar 
  • Rocks 
  • Moss
  • Activated charcoal
  • Plant
  • Potting Soil (not pictured)

A few notes on your supplies. You can use any size jar but it really should be glass. You will need a lid if you are doing a plant that requires water. If you are using succulents, you won't need a lid. After seeing a jar I loved at the plant store for $30, I  found a one-gallon cookie jar at Walmart for $6. Because Walmart. I also picked up 40 pairs of tube socks for $3. 

The rocks and charcoal I got from our local fish store, and I picked up the moss at the plant store when I got my little plant. If you live somewhere that isn't a desert, I imagine you could probably just go scrape some moss off the ground. That's how I picture the non-desert, moss everywhere. You'll have to let me know what that's like. 

OK, now it's time to build your terrarium. TERRARIUM! 

First lay down your rocks. This is your drainage system so you want to add enough to cover the bottom of your jar. You can use bigger rocks like gravel (which I probably should have) and you won't have to worry about how they look because you won't see them anyway. 

On top of your rocks, you want to add your activated charcoal. This is going to help filter the water that you add to your terrarium and keep algae from building up. And it will keep it from smelling. No one likes a smelly terrarium. 

Be careful with the charcoal because it is made of... charcoal. Charcoal is messy. It gets everywhere. My kid learned that when she grabbed a handful then tried to brush her lion's mane worth of hair out of her face. 

Now that you have your rocks and charcoal, it is time add your soil. Regular potting soil will do just fine. I just grabbed a cup full from our garden out back and put it in the nicest cup I could find, which happened to be a giant plastic cup I got when I consumed exactly that much alcohol during a Beatles Cirque Du Soleil show in Vegas. That turned into an interesting night. It's probably good that I didn't know the word terrarium back then. I would have yelled it a lot. I digress.

Pour your soil over your rocks, as high as you'd like. I like making little hills in mine but you do you. This is your happy little terrarium. You want hills. You get hills. No hills? Screw you hills. This is my terrarium. TERRARIUM!

Now it's time for the tree. If you're anything like my kid, you've already named it (ours is named Quincy, by the way.) Really you are just planting this tree like you would plant any other tree, just in tiny, adorable form. Bury the roots below the soil and make sure it has enough support to stand. 

I'm assuming if you named your tree, you've also named your moss (Terrance). It's time to add Terrance. Wet the moss a little bit before you add it, it makes it a little easier to manage. 

Also, it makes a great mustache.

Once you've added your moss, just add a little filtered water to your happy little world and put the lid back on! Terrance and Quincy are happily residing as our center piece in the kitchen at the moment. 

Feel free to add a dinosaur

I've seen some really cool terrariums out there in some pretty clever containers. What are you going to put yours in? Let us know in the comments!



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