Last year about this time, a reader of TMG sent me a link showing pictures of someone using gallon plastic jugs like mini greenhouses.
- They cut the jugs almost in half leaving the top part slightly attached.
- Punched holes in the bottom for drainage.
- Filled the bottom with about 3 inches of Pro-Mix and watered well.
- Planted the seed and labeled the jug for identification.
- Tapped the top half of the jug in place, left cap off for ventilation, and placed them all outside to weather the cold, rain and snow. And forgot them until almost spring.
Lo and behold when the time is right the seeds germinate.
This method suited me to a tee and I couldn’t have been more pleased. I don’t have space inside to start seed, nor do I have proper light. Also, I don’t want to be bothered with watering all the time, and it’s enough to tend peppers and tomatoes when the time comes without having to “take care of” lots of other things.
Plants are Already Hardened Off
My seed germinated before the end of cold weather but it didn’t hurt those seedlings one bit. After severe cold was past I removed the tops. The seedlings are already hardened off since they came up on their own outside. They held nicely until I had time to plant them. The only thing I had to do at that point was make sure they didn’t dry out.
WinterSown – adapt to fit your needs
Some months later I found that Trudi Davidoff, a Long Island housewife had made “wintersown” very popular. This method can be adapted to fit your needs and you can use all kinds of recycled containers. Her website, wintersown.org, covers almost every senario.
I prepared and planted gallon jugs on the Winter Soltice, Dec. 21st. Planted are parsley, onions, bunching onions, lettuces, rosemary, ecinacea purpurea and nasturtiums. Snapdragons, thyme, lavender, anchusa, basil, verbascum, and a few others are waiting to be planted.
This is such an easy way to start plants that I hope you’ll give it a try. It gives you a jump on the season and makes it easy to start a lot more plants for your garden and borders.
Organic Gardening is easy, effective, efficient and a lot healthier.
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