Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A - ABC Wednesday - A


I recently created several milk jug greenhouses, see photo below.

Each jug houses approximately 2" of potting soil and several seeds that need stratification prior to germinating next Spring.

These greenhouse are each cradling 10 -14 Jack-in-the-Pulpit seeds.

(Arisaema triphyllum)

Two greenhouses have been planted with seeds we found on our land.
The other seeds were a Christmas present from Mr. Shady.  
He purchased them.
We'll see which seeds have a better germination rate.  

Don't know how to do this?

1.  Rinse an empty milk jug and create several drainage holes in the bottom.

2.  With a sharp knife or scissors, cut a line from one side of the bottom of the handle, clear around to the other side of the bottom of the handle.  The point at which the jug halves are connected becomes your "hinge."

3.  Put approximately two inches or so of potting soil in the bottom of each jug.

4.  Plant your seeds.  At this point, you can make a plant marker indicating the type of seeds planted.

5.  Close the greenhouse with duct tape.

6.  You can also mark the outside of the greenhouse with permanent marker.  Oftentimes, however, the marker will fade by Spring.  Not always.  However, having label inside AND outside is a great idea!

7.  Throw away the milk jug lid.   Precipitation (winter snow) will enter through the opening.

8.  Place outdoors in a sheltered spot, such as near a raised bed, near the house foundation (as long as the jugs receive precipitation!), where they cannot be blown away by the wind!
 (These are from two years ago)

Of course, we're creating 


This coming spring, you should see something like this!


All photos shown (except for the first one) were taken in previous years ... some during a session I led in a fourth grade classroom January 20, 2011. 

This is Definitely NOT a shady subject!  
 Just presented by Shady Gardener (yours truly). 


Melanie Boudwin said...

What a great idea! I tend to be a plant killer when it comes to gardening, but your post makes me think I should give starting seeds another try.

Thank you!

Leslie: said...

Awesome idea! If I were still in the classroom, I'd have the kids do it as an experiment. Hopefully, in the spring you will post the results.

abcw team

lessandra said...

That's a wonderful anticipation - looking forwards to your seeds sprouting and then onward and upwards! Hope you have a super crop :)

Rosemary said...

Shady such a good idea..... hum where are my jugs?

Roger Owen Green said...

Awesome, indeed. Anticipation always reminds me of the Carly Simon song.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

troutbirder said...

Creative and energetic. My anticipation has been less work. After forty some years I gave up the veggie garden . Now we go to farmers markets...

Shady Gardener said...

It's very easy to try. It truly depends upon the viability of the seeds.

Shady Gardener said...

I will, Leslie. Even if it doesn't work. However, it always has, unless the seeds get buried under three feet of snow! Ha. (That wouldn't happen, unless you placed them in a place where "drifts happen!"

Shady Gardener said...

Me, too, Lessandra!

Shady Gardener said...

Hi, Rosemary!

Shady Gardener said...

That occurred to me, too, Roger. Lol

Shady Gardener said...

Guess what, troutbirder . . . I just grow perennials! ;-)

mai said...

That is so cool, I love the idea!

Thank you so much for visiting me and welcoming me to ABC Wednesday. See you on the next week! I promise I'll visit earlier.:)

mrsnesbitt said...

Could the tops be used as funnels or mini watering devices?
Denise ABC Team

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Just great. I hadn't even thought about winter sowing yet. It's so warm here I don't know if it would be successful. Last year was 50/50 for me on seeds sprouting.


What a great idea. I have never seen milk jugs used this way but obviously it works! Thanks for sharing. I hope you're doing well. Hurry up spring. :)

Shady Gardener said...

Hello, Mai. Thank you for your visit. :-)

Shady Gardener said...

Mrs. Nesbit, They could. I often wash and recycle the jugs after the season. They are easy to come by. Lol

Shady Gardener said...

Hi, Grace! How are you? It works! :-)

Shady Gardener said...

Try putting seeds needing stratification in the refrigerator for a good length of time before planting them. :-)

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. My seed order got here last week so I am ready to start the same process.

Shady Gardener said...

Hobby Farmer, Best of luck on using this process. I am ready to put out another series of seeds right now. It is supposed to be cold again this weekend. Traditionally, it would be yet cold for awhile!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

I keep thinking one of these winters, I want to do this. Maybe next winter, because I am planning to retire this spring, and then work as a substitute, so I can work fewer hours.

I have some seeds that I planted in the yard this fall. I hope they come up. I wonder if it's too late to put some in jugs. It is still cold out, but I'm not sure how long the seeds need the cold.

Shady Gardener said...

Oh! Good for you, Sue! I'm thinking 6 weeks of cold weather might about do it... you could certainly try it!!

Otherwise, it's always good to have something to look forward to. Esp. if you're contemplating retirement!