#22 Let It Grow

30 Points

Harness the power of seeds to grow some groovy grass, then make your own grassy moustache or mohawk or write your name in grassy graffiti! 

Read the instructions

Categories:

See also

Visit your local botanical gardens and check out how great their growing is!

What to do

Your mission is:

Grow wheatgrass from seed and style into cool patterns or words. Check out the notes above for the tool list then get growing!
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1. SEEDS THE DAY

Day 1! Prepare your wheat grass seeds by rinsing them in the sieve under water. Place them in a bowl and cover them with water so there’s twice as much water as there are seeds. Cover your bowl with a towel and leave the seeds overnight to soak.

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2. RINSE & REPEAT

Day 2! Repeat the first steps for a second night. You’ll be getting good at it by now!

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3. MAKING THE BED

Day 3! Take your large flat tray and line the bottom with 3 layers of paper towels. Using the marker, draw the shapes you want to grow grass on - it could be words, shapes, a grass beard, a grass Mohawk for your head, a grass bracelet for your wrist – anything you like! Then spray the bed of paper towels with water so that they’re nice and moist.

Tip: it'll work best if the design shapes are big bold and chunky!  

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4. SOW THE SEEDS

Drain the seeds in your sieve, then sprinkle them into the shapes you’ve drawn on the paper towel surface.

The seeds should be a single layer, closely packed together. 

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5. SPRAY AND WALK AWAY!

Once you’re happy with that, cover the seeds with another layer of paper towels and spray that one with water too.

Then stash the tray out of direct sunlight somewhere they won’t be disturbed.

Pop by to visit once a day with your spray bottle, making sure to keep the paper towels damp but not soaking.

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6. SEE HOW YOU GROW

Day 7! Remove the top layer of paper towels and continue to water once a day for another week.

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7. GO GREEN

Day 14! Congratulations - you should have a container of grass!

Carefully take the paper towels out of the tray and let it dry and harden a little.

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8. CUT AND UPLOAD FOR GRASSY GLORY!

After the base of your grass has hardened enough, cut to the pattern you drew.

Lay out the words or try on your grassy moustache, Mohawk or beard for size! (Or give your bald Dad a green wig ;-)

Take a photo and upload to earn points to upgrade your Wild Eyes and get to the next level of super vision!

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WAI TIP

Keep your seeds watered, but only once a day – otherwise you grow mould instead of grass, which might be more fun-gi than fun!

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WILD FACTOR

To take it to the next level, make the grassy version of your family using yoghurt containers, with the grass as their hair and their faces drawn on the containers! Or get a super-combo growing by using your own grass as the landscape for your Wild Eyes cave (for the DIY Cave mission)!

Or: just eat it! Wheat grass is edible … blend it up in a juicer for a green smoothie – nom nom!

Sophora microphylla Kowhai seeds and seed pod. 2

GO FOR GOLD

Now you’ve gotten into the seed habit, experiment with natives and have a growing race.

Get some ID tips here and pick up some golden kōwhai seeds or ti kouka (cabbage tree) seeds and put them in some soil or potting mix and let it grow, let it growhere I stand in the light of day ….!!! 

WATCH AND GROW

Before you get grow crazy, you might want to check out this Kiwi primer on growing your own wheatgrass.

Note: this guy grows his grass in soil, but you're going to use paper towels or cardboard (read your instructions above!). 

What's happening?

SEED WHAT I DID THERE?

Some seeds need dark and some need light, but they all need moisture. Once the conditions are just right, the plant inside the seed starts to grow and get bigger. It pushes open the seed coat, kind of like a chick hatching out of an egg.

Once it has popped the seal, air can get to the seed – and things get serious! Watch this time-lapse video of an acorn seed growing and get gob-smacked by the genius of germination!

MAKING SEED BABIES

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– Oh baby baby ... embryo of an avocado seed

Let's back-track a bit and to get grips with germination: inside each seed is an embryo (which is pretty much a tiny plant) and the endosperm (food for the embryo). The outside of the seed has a shell, which protects the embryo to make sure it’s safe.

The embryo starts germinating in the right conditions that break down the seed coat and lets the moisture in (this is called 'scarification' ... which is also what happens when you see a horror movie ... OK we made up the second bit ...).

Air for a good time

Once the baby plant gets a taste of the oxygen in the air, it’s hooked.

The oxygen helps the plant burn the food stashed inside the seed, producing energy; energy that the baby plant uses to grow!

The roots grow downward and the baby stem uncurls upward. Next thing you know, our baby seed is all grown up! Doesn’t time fly? Check out the avocado seed from above all grown up – smile for the camera!

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– My look how you've grown!

SKIN IN THE GAME

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– Are you peeling seedy?

The skin of a fruit is kind of like an ‘overcoat’, helmet or suitcase for one or more seeds.

Think of different fruits and veges and how they package and protect their seeds: next time you’re peeling an orange or banana, before you gob it see if you can spot the seeds. Ditto when Mum or Dad is chopping the pumpkin ...

(And if you're a fruity designer you could even make your own helmet out of the pumpkin skin or a mouthguard out of the orange peel!)

IT'S WHAT'S ON THE OUTSIDE THAT COUNTS

Strawberries are sweet-as as a summer fruit (strawberries and ice cream = nom nom!), but they're also pretty spec in that they have their seeds on the outside!

Wild tip: use your Wild Eyes microscope camera [link] to take a photo of the seeds close up!

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– Seedy strawberry

Ice cream tree

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– All you can eat kahikatea meal deal!

Some of our native trees also like to show off their seedy side on the outside. A really awesome example is the fruit of the kahikatea tree.

These guys are our tallest trees and the manu (birds) love munching on their fruit – for them a kahikatea full of fruit is like an ice cream big bucket meal deal tree!! This is very helpful for the tree, because ...

THAT WAS VERY MOVING

Trees need to move so they're not all playing shotgun for the same sun and water resources, and seeds are very clever in getting around. They don't use wheels: some seeds use wind, some are ferried by water, some travel on their own steam (seed bomb eruptions!), and some are carried by birds (like our mate the kahikatea).

See it all happen in this video (or get off your bum and see it in your backyard!!)

BIG MOUTH STRIKES AGAIN!

kereru stoddard

– This machine moves forests!

Fruit is attractive to birds and animals (banana!!) and when the seed comes out the other end (in a poo pod!) and gets growing that’s one way that a plant moves.

Bet you didn’t think of plants and trees as moving huh? In NZ for forests to move we need kererū!

The wood pigeon (kererū, kūkupa) is the only bird with a big enough gob to swallow big seeds like karaka and tawa, so it plays a huge role in moving trees.  

 

Inspiration

GRASS MOUSTACHE

Looking for some ideas on how to craft your grassterpiece? You could finally get all that green facial hair you’ve always wanted: grow a green moustache or a grassy beard

grass moustache

– Wheatgrass mo'

Go punk

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– Mohawk, more than a mo...

Make a grassy mohawk for you or for your bald dad (he'll love you for that eh!)

STAY CLASSY BE GRASSY

Or go for the car and clothes combo. Caution: don't use a lawnmower on the suits, and don't put them through the tumble dryer ...

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– Taking going green to the extreme

FLOWER POWER

grass taxi

– Ask for the green fuel at the patrol station

You probably can't do this with your wheat grass, but if want some next level inspiration check out this grassy car.

If you do decide to do this on your family car, you should probably check with your parents first eh ... 

BLACKBERRY SPRINT CHAMP

Your wheatgrass grows pretty quick, but no so fast that you can watch it grow. Hang out with David Attenborough and check out this video of blackberry (aka bramble) to see a speed king of the plant world going for gold. (OK, so 3 inches per day won't beat Usain Bolt but it's pretty incredible!)

GROW NATIVE

If growing wheatgrass has got you into growing green, then take it the next level and earn Wild Eyes bonus points by growing some native seedlings in your backyard.

And when they're all grown up, then special birds like me can have sweet-as food to eat. Get the menu (sorry planting guide) here and here (I'd like a miro berry sundae please ;-).

- Katy the kōkako

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