Step 2: Layering Your Substrate

You can layer your charcoal and then your gravel or you can do it the other way around. I've seen people do it both ways and their doesn't seem to be much of a difference in either outcome for the health of your plants. In this example I did the charcoal first and then the gravel.

Start pouring your charcoal until it just covers the bottom of the container. Shake it a little to even it out. Then add a couple small handfulls of gravel around the container to make sure you have and even coating around the container. Once you have just covered the charcoal you can now pour slowly from the bag until you have about half an inch of gravel on top. If you just pour straight on top of the charcoal to start, all the gravel will push the charcoal out of its way and you'll have an uneven layer of charcoal at the bottom.

Take some of your moss and just make a thin layer on top of your gravel. No too much though, you are only using it to stop your soil from sinking right into the gravel. Think of it as a screen.

Do you think Hen &amp; Chicks would do OK in a 4-6&quot; container on an east-facing windowsill? I think they're adorable, but I wasn't sure if I'd get any chicks in a container that small.
I apologize for such a late response. I'm sure you have probably found your answer by now but yes, Hen-and-chicks is a great thing to put into something in that size. They are a very hardy plant and can be grown almost anywhere. It also has the tendency to stay the size relative to it's container however, over time it will produce upstart plants around it and it may grow crowded. You can take the starts from that pot and put them into another to grow.
My mom grew hens and chicks in the drip catcher for a pot that was about an 8&quot; diameter. They are quite hardy and adaptable, hers survived the winter in this tray. You should be just fine growing them in the smaller container in the windowsill.
this isn't a terrarium...its a pot<br>
Technically, in this example, yes, it would be considered more a &quot;pot&quot; than an actual &quot;terrarium&quot;. Any type of vivarium cannot be called such unless it actually has some type of enclosure to it's environment. At least in the traditional sense. It would not do to have a desert terrarium with a small bell jar enclosure for example (too much constant humidity for desert life that has evolved to survive constant hot and dry climates)as a bigger or open enclosure would be better. This example in the instructable could have an enclosure, like a lid or large jar. But you have to remember, unless you have the time to take it off and on constantly and consistently you can create an unstable environment for the plants that it may not be able to adapt to. There is also the option of controlled airflow, humidity and sunlight via the use of an aquarium tank and lights, but this is better used for larger projects and not everyone can afford the luxury.
sweet. great instructable. A fav.<br />
That looks really pretty, I tried making a terrarium once but didn't think to check whether the plants I used were suitable,so several plants died.&nbsp; <br />
It happens sometimes. Just out of curiosity, do you remember what plants they were? <br />
No, I can't remember.&nbsp; I'll definitely use the link you gave to find more suitable plants to use.<br />

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