Kitchen Gardening

Plant Some Fun this Weekend

Why not use this weekend to plant a few seeds? You can help sprout young gardeners with these easy indoor gardening projects.

Three easy-to-grow projects include sprouting a grapefruit seed, growing a tree from an avocado pit, and sprouting a sweet potato.
Photo/Illustration: Jodi Torpey

When one of my neighbors gifted me with a few homegrown grapefruits from an Arizona friend, I knew right away what I’d do with those delicious fruits.

Besides enjoying every juicy bite, I saved the seeds and planted them. It took a while for those seeds to sprout, but once they did, I repotted two plants to give back to her and kept one for myself.

I don’t know if those tiny grapefruit trees will ever bear fruit, but it’s been fun to watch them grow.

Other citrus fruit seeds can sprout and grow, too. You can amaze the young gardeners in your life by planting orange, lemon and lime seeds or sprouting seeds on a sponge.

Two other fun indoor gardening projects are sprouting an avocado seed and growing a sweet potato. Here’s how to get growing:

Sprout an Avocado Seed

  1. Carefully remove the pit from a ripe avocado and let it dry.
  2. Remove some of the dried skin from the fat end of the seed for faster sprouting.
  3. Fill a jar with water.
  4. Poke 3 or 4 toothpicks in the avocado seed, so that about 1″ of the seed will sit in the jar of water.
  5. Keep the bottom of the seed in water by replenishing as needed.
  6. It will take anywhere from 3-6 weeks or more to see roots start to grow, the seed to crack open and a sprout start to grow.
  7. Keep the plant in a warm location, but out of direct sunlight.
  8. Replant in a small container filled with potting soil, keep the soil moist, and watch the avocado tree grow.

Grow a Sweet Potato

  1. Fill a jar with water.
  2. Poke toothpicks in a sweet potato so that the pointed end is suspended about 2/3 of the way in the water.
  3. Place the sweet potato in a bright, sunny location; keep it watered.
  4. It will take a few weeks for the sweet potato to grow roots and start to sprout leaves. The leaves form on vines and look similar to a philodendron houseplant.

In spring, you can move the plant outdoors for replanting in the garden. Pinch back vines before planting and you may be able to help a budding garden grow some sweet potatoes for a fall harvest.

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