Welcome 2014… winter seed sowing

Remember this idea I referred to last Mother’s Day? I had first seen it on Pinterest, and then tracked it back to this blog. In general, Kevin Lee Jacobs describes creating miniature greenhouses in reused plastic milk jugs. He also attributes the idea back to Trudi Davidoff. Thanks, Kevin!

We started saving our gallon milk jugs in the fall. It seems we’re always nearly out of milk, so I was really surprised that it took several months to accumulate 24 jugs. When they were emptied, we rinsed them out so as not to be too heinous-smelling come winter. Using Kevin’s directions, we cut them in half with a knife (kind of time consuming), leaving about 1″ hinge. KP used a drill to create the drainage holes in the jugs. We then used big tubs and put drainage holes in those too.

Recycled jugs for winter sowing.

Recycled jugs for winter sowing.

I filled each with 3-4 inches of seed-starting soil, and then sprinkled a healthy amount of seed into each little bed. After covering the seed with about another inch of soil and dampening with water, I quickly (!) labeled each one with the plant, species, and date of planting.

For the first batch – 12 jugs, I used 3 different kinds of celery (from Rare Seeds), two colors of cleome (collected from the uni), white nicotiana (seed from Lynch’s), two kinds of beans (leftover from the summer’s failure planting), and asclepsia collected from my garden. KP was most assured that we didn’t need to duct tape them as Kevin had instructed. Since we didn’t have any duct tape on hand, I went a long with it :).

Wouldn’t you know those damn raccoon varmints got in the seed and just mucked things up! Needless to say, there were beans all over the deck and in the asclpsia jug, and dirt every-where. I should know better! Remember this?

So, then we went to get duct tape. All that was available at the grocery store was day-glo PINK. See all the dirt mess inside the tub? Amazingly, as soon as the jugs were taped, I could FEEL the temperature difference between the air outside the jug compared to the air inside the jug!

jugs_taping

Varmint-proofing the jugs

Varmint-proofing the jugs

…and here they are, all “varmint-proofed”. Twelve jugs are starting, and when I’m back at the garden, I’ve got at least 12 more ready to go! …very exciting and I have visions of sharing lots of baby plants in the early spring.

Ready for keeping the seedlings warm and growing

Ready for keeping the seedlings warm and growing

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