How to Grow a Crystal Garden

All it takes is a few household items to grow a garden of crystals. Great for a science project or just for fun!
By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
November/December 1972
Add to My MSN

It's easy to "grow" a garden of crystals.
PHOTO: S SILVER/FOTOLIA


Content Tools

Related Content

Thinking About Self-Sufficiency

The sweet spot in self sufficiency is to have just enough...with a bit of surplus to meet your needs...

Pond and People Management

Managing expectations and learning more about your pond or lake are key in being satisfied with the ...

Organic Fertilizer Best Buys

Avoid expensive organic fertilizers with these suggestions for lower-cost options.

'Food Is Free' Project Losing Their Teaching Farm

The Food is Free Project has inspired thousands of individuals, families and groups around the globe...

When the cold winter winds blew and the snow was drifted up to the woodshed eaves, great grandma used a crystal garden to keep her brood occupied through a long evening or two. You can do the same. All you'll need is some household ammonia, liquid bluing, food coloring, non-iodized table salt, water, a six-inch dish and a brick or couple of lumps of soft coal.

Cover the brick or coal (so the pieces won't fly up) and wallop it into walnut-sized lumps with a hammer. Arrange the chunks in the center of the dish.

Now mix — in this order — four tablespoons of plain (not iodized) salt, four tablespoons liquid bluing, four tablespoons water and one tablespoon of ammonia. CAUTION:Ammonia can be harmful and children should use it only with adult supervision.  

Stir the mixture until the salt dissolves and pour it over the lumps of brick or coal. Then, with an eyedropper, drip spots of food coloring onto the wet chunks.

That's it. In a few hours, your garden of spider-webby, cauliflower-like crystals will spring up in tints and shades of the coloring you used. Handle the dish gently and the fragile growths can delight you for weeks.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.