Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mini Greenhouses for the Winter-time

Milk jugs? Check!
Awl? Check!
Sharp Knife? Check!
Duct tape? Check!
Permanent Marker? Check!
Potting soil and seeds? Check!

Mini Greenhouses are being planted and set out!

Full credit goes to Kylee of Our Little Acre, whose post inspired me to try this a couple of years ago. It works!! :-) Here is her post for this year... complete with all the instructions you'll need!
Click on the link below:

Kylee's Winter Sowing 101

I picked seeds of several of my own plants this Fall.
My efforts, so far this year, are recorded, through photographs, below.

Believe it or not, this photo was taken Feb. 8, 2009. Here are the jugs I set out last Winter.
Below are photos of Tennessee Coneflower seedlings that were started two of the milk jugs. Gail, of Clay and Limestone, sent me seeds last Winter. I was so excited to see how they would do! These little fellows were planted where the tree in the front yard was removed in August 2008. Conditions here are not optimal for coneflowers, but it's a "nursery."

This photo was taken at the end of June 2009.
And this photo was taken Sept. 1, 2009.

I have high hopes for 2010! :-)


Gail said...

They look so healthy and happy! They are used to brutal conditions and have a taproot to deal with drought! ...So they ought to be beautiful this summer! Thanks for the link...Keep warm! gailxxxooo

Northern Shade said...

I have wanted to try winter sowing for a while, but haven't yet. This looks like such fun. I am missing gardening, and your mini greenhouses seem like a great idea, a chance to play around with soil and seeds. I wonder what will come up in your mystery jug on the end? Your blog snow effect completes the atmosphere. They look like they are huddling together by the fence corner for warmth. :)

Jim Groble said...

very cool indeed. We have to try it.


Shady Gardener said...

Hi Gail, I'm really excited to see how they perform this coming summer. Some of them may get moved...

They're being surrounded by pachysandra (which used to surround a tree until August 2008).

Hi Northern Shade!! I hope I've inspired you to try this! I know how hard it is to not get your hands dirty just Once In A While during the Winter! Keep me posted! :-)

Hi Jim, I think you and Pat look like just the types that would enjoy trying this! :-) Plus, as I told "Northern" above, you get to play in the dirt during heart of the Winter!

Blossom said...

Yeay for 2010. I look forward to all those beautiful blooms spring usually brings.

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Blossom! Thank you for visiting today. Planting these seeds are a way to look forward to Spring without rushing the season. :-)

Noelle said...

There is something so exciting about planting seeds each year. I look forward to seeing what you grow this year.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

That is a great way to do it. If only I had milk jugs.

Anonymous said...

If only our milk jugs were clear! Your coneflowers are wonderful, what a nice mass planting that will be. I plan to find something that comes in clear jugs, just so this can be attempted. Better hurry up though! :-)

troutbirder said...

What a neat idea Shady. I've got to remember to try this next year.

Rosey Pollen said...

Hi Shady,
I love this idea you shared, it is fantastic. And you re-purposed, which I love!
I look forward to seeing the progress of your seeds.

Kylee from Our Little Acre said...

Hey Shady! GOOD FOR YOU! The coneflowers look so healthy! Thanks for mentioning my post. I'm really glad I posted it, too, because it has gotten me really enthused about doing some winter sowing when I get back from NYC! Guess what I'm going to try, AGAIN? Meconopsis. Yep, the blue poppy. I won't ever give up, I don't think, until I get just one bloom, just so I can say I grew it. LOL.

Ellen Zachos said...

Excellent project for a very cold winter. Thanks for the inspiration!

Bren said...

This is super cool... I am gonna have to set a few of these outside of my greenhouse to see If I can get them to grow. I love the birds you share on your blog today. TOTALLY inspiring... it is so hard to get them to sit still so I can take a photo!

Happy New Year

Rose said...

I've been inspired by Kylee's post, too, as well as Monica's book about winter sowing. I'm collecting a few milk jugs, and then it's time for my first try at winter sowing! I'm impressed by your success, especially the Tennesse coneflowers. Mine didn't germinate, but maybe I would have had better luck with them outside.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

I love winter sowing. This will be my sixth season!! It's cool you mention an awl and Kylee mentions an ice pick. I use a power drill to do my holes, but these tools are great, too. I'll mention them from now on when I lecture/present. Personally, I've had trouble with the marker wearing off the outside of the jugs, so I also make tags (pencil on plastic) inside the jugs as well, as a back-up. Looking forward to seeing your seeds as they sprout.

Kathleen said...

I happened to see Kylee's post about this and thought it was a superb idea. I haven't put it into action yet tho! Better get in gear. Looks like you have lots of great stuff started.
ps I'm so glad the filipendula did well for you.

Shady Gardener said...

Well! I wonder what happened to the comment I left nearly everyone last night?? I'll try again.

Noelle, last night I wrote you that many of the seedlings I start end up in someone else's garden.

MMD, You might roam the streets on "recycle day" to see if anyone has put out milk jugs in their bins. Or perhaps you could visit the recycling center??

Frances, Why do you need clear jugs? My milky-white jugs work very well!

Troutbirder, if you have a milk jug, I could send you a seed! ;-)
Otherwise, DO try this next year!

Rosey, So far it's worked very well. You might like to try the idea, too?

Hi Kylee, Have a wonderful time in NYC! And don't give up on that blue poppy. If anyone could get it to grow, it would be you (or your Mom)! :-)

Ellen, I hope you try this. It's not too late.

Hi Bren, The situation with the open-top milk jugs is that when it snows (or rains) the moisture goes into the jugs... What would happen in your greenhouse?

Rose, I wonder if the key is starting them outdoors (as would happen in nature).

Monica, You're right. I also put packing tape over the labels... forgot to mention that!

Kathleen, It's not too late. Last year, I actually started mine the first week of February. They still were fine. One or two sets of seedlings stayed in the jugs a little longer before I planted them... but that was okay. :-)

Kate said...

What a neat idea. And it would solve my problem of forgetting where I scattered seeds the season before...

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Kate! Absolutely! But don't forget that not all seeds need to be stratified. Those seeds that drop to the ground and grow the following Spring would be prime candidates for this technique. :-)