Have you ever seen those little garden tomb gardens before? They are just the cutest thing and I couldn’t wait to give it a try. This would be such a fun activity for kids that could become one of your Easter traditions and is a great visual reminder of the Easter season — Jesus Christ and His Atonement and resurrection. With only an hour or so of work total upfront, you can enjoy watching your wheatgrass grow into a beautiful resurrection garden during Easter week and have a hands-on activity for your kids to teach them about Jesus and His resurrection.
You’ll need just a few items, almost all of them you probably already have at home, or can find in your backyard. You’ll need:
- A shallow plate
- Potting soil or soft dirt from your yard
- A small pot to use as the tomb
- 1-2 cups of wheat berries (look in bulk food grocery stores or order online)
- Spray bottle
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Small stones, moss, flowers, found items (optional)
- Sticks and string to make crosses
- A rock to cover the tomb opening
First, soak your wheat berries in a water-vinegar-hydrogen peroxide mixture for about 10 minutes to sanitize and attack any mold spores. *I don’t know the correct ratio for this disinfecting solution but I do about 1:1 water/vinegar and a good quirt of hydrogen peroxide, maybe 2-3 Tbsp per cup.
Rinse the berries and then soak in water for 24 hours. This will make germination much quicker! Look at the difference between the size of the two photos, the wheat berries bloat up!
Add a bit of potting soil to your pot base and then lay your small pot on it’s side in the soil. Use more potting soil to create a small hill around the pot and add stones for a pathway. Feel free to get creative and use moss, flowers, or other found items to create decorations on your garden. This is where your kid’s imagination can run wild!
*My only tip is to not have the hill be too steep or else getting the wheat berries to stay in place gets difficult. Opt for a larger base to avoid a steep hill.
Give your soil a good spray to help the wheat berries stick. Place them on top of the soil where you want grass. You may need to be more gentle and press them softly into the soil. You can leave them on top or bury it with a bit more soil depending on how much time you have (it takes longer for the wheat berries to sprout out of the soil and you’re more likely to get mold).
Spray your berries thoroughly with a spray bottle, and then place in a dark, cool place where it is less likely to dry out. If you can find a bowl big enough, place it over the top to create a greenhouse effect. Spritz every few hours during the day and make sure to check on it first thing in the morning. *You can decide how long to keep the bowl on, I kept it on for about 48 hours but I wouldn’t do it any longer so they can get some sunlight.
Now when it comes to light, I used some LED lights we have in our basement but if you keep it near a window that should be plenty of light for it!
Throughout the days, you’ll want to spray and keep it moist to encourage growth. The goal is to just not let it dry out but wheatgrass is pretty forgiving if you forget to check it for 12 hours (just give it a really good dirnk if that does happen!). I did about 3-4 sprays a day — one right in the morning, one at lunch, and one right before bed.
Around day 5 or 6, you can give your grass a good cut to make it even and help it look thicker, but that’s totally up to you!
If timed right, the grass is a great length on Good Friday and you can add your three crosses to the garden and roll the stone over the mouth of the tomb.
I know that Jesus is the Christ and that He did live here on this earth. He was the perfect exemplar and He atoned for our sins. I am so grateful for this holiday to celebrate the life and Man and events that took place in order for us to live with God again. I hope you enjoy this little Easter activity and it becomes a tradition each year for you!