Terrarium Making Lesson

photograph copyrighted by Kindra Clineff

Okay, here comes the pep talk: You can do this. Your kid can do this. Your grandmother can do this. Your hamster probably can’t.

Why do this? Because this terrarium will rescue your life. You will find peace. Your boss won’t seem so obnoxious. The world will be a better place. Nature will seep into all the little nooks and crannies of your existence. Your family will thank you (but the kids won’t necessarily stop whining). Creativity will reign. Winter will be bearable (sort of). All this from a terrarium.

Anatomy Lesson: What do you need? Just:

  • a glass container (okay, you can use plastic, but it won’t sparkle). Any size works. Helps if you can fit your hand through the mouth.
  • 3/8 inch pebbles
  • horticultural charcoal (get it at a garden center or aquarium supply store)
  • potting soil (light African violet type mix works, I use organic)
  • watering can
  • nature objects like seed pods, lichen-covered sticks, seashells, whatever grooves you
  • gloves (Always wear gloves. Don’t argue with me.)

photograph copyrighted by Kindra Clineff

Ready? Here’s how to make it happen:

  • Put on the gloves.
  • Mix water into the potting soil before you start. Don’t overdo it.
  • Pour (or scoop, it’s your call) 1-2 inches of pebbles into the bottom of the glass container.
  • Add a small handful of horticultural charcoal.
  • Mix the pebbles and charcoal together.
  • Add a separate layer of 2-3 inches of potting soil.
  • Tamp it down and level it lightly to give a flat planting surface.
  • Dig a hole in the soil to receive your first plant.
  • Tuck that baby into the hole. Firm it in. Really firm it in. Firm it in again.
  • Repeat for the other plants. Don’t crowd. This isn’t a subway.
  • Add the nature objects. Feel the creativity pulsing in your veins. You’re forging frontiers where hamsters never ventured.
  • Water the terrarium lightly.
  • Put the lid on.
  • See, I told you = Peace.

Stay tuned for long term care instructions on my next blog. Meanwhile, Enjoy!

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