A box works but the problem with a box is that when the seedlings grow, you need to adjust the height of the fluorescent light to provide the 4 to 6 in clearance. You can switch to a taller box but a crate is a better alternative. In a real green house, the fluorescent lights are hung using adjustable chains from the ceiling. A crate has slats that can be used to hold cardboards to create different heights. As the plant grows, the cardboards can be moved to a lower level.
Growing a garden teaches kids many things, but mainly we do it because it’s fun. What is more fun than to watch a little something emerge from a seed? I also hope this will encourage my 3 yr old to try more vegetables.
When I think of starting from seeds, I think of the all fancy stuff needed to house the seedlings. Not anymore! You just need a few essential items, seeds, growing medium (we bought Jiffy pellets), and water. Definitely cheaper than buying a baby plant! There is no need to buy the fancy startup kits that come with a tray. You can use items in your kitchen, stuff like egg cartons and yogurt containers (be sure to make holes on the bottom to allow for draining). If using pellets like us, hydrate the pellets in a baking tray or cut up milk cartons and then transfer them to containers of choice before adding seeds. Place them by a window or use artificial light. Fluorescent tubes are cheap and so are the housing for the tubes. Use different size boxes to prop up the light to create the 4 to 6 inches clearance needed.
Everyday my 3 year old checks to see if his hard work pays off. What hard work? Turning on the light and misting the soil if it is dry. Keep it moist I tell him. Soon we can transfer them to the vegetable garden outside!