Monday, May 7, 2012

Mini Greenhouses

It’s just a few weeks away from being warm enough to plant my little seedlings in the actual ground  :)  Because of our short growing season, most seeds need to be started indoors, but I quickly run out of room and have to shuffle plants onto the porch.  The porch is sheltered completely on the north and west and partially on the east, so they do fairly well there.  Even so, because daytime temps are 40’s and 50’s and nighttime temps frequently dip into the 30’s, they need some protection from wind and cold -- occasionally even snow!

My old method was a frame made from PVC pipe, covered in plastic.  It worked great, for the most part, but it was hard to cover in case of cold weather or snow and not portable. 

This spring, I have a new method to house the little plants until they can go into the garden..  I first saw these on Pinterest. . . here’s my version: 


Just clear plastic storage boxes from Target, but they are working out so much better!!  I group the plants in them according to their cold tolerance.  That way I can pick up a box and pop in the house when it’s too cold for them.  It’s also easier to move plants around to find them more (or less) sun exposure.  


The lids were all off the day these photos were taken, but they do add a lot of protection from wind and cold… like today, when the high was 39 degrees! 


I can’t wait until they are all planted!!


mandysmoney said...

This is such a great idea! I didn't want to spend money on anything this year to start my garden & I actually have a couple of this bins so now I'm inspired!

Ellen said...

This is great! I'm pinning it so I won't forget for next spring.

Thanks for visiting me at A Season for All Things. I'm your newest follower and look forward to finding more great info, scripture, and more!

Printabelle said...

Great idea! I'd love for you to add it on my link party at: Thanks!

Susan Zentmyer said...

Fantastic idea! Little portable greenhouses - I need to do this!

Michele {The Scrap Shoppe} said...

I LOVE this idea! I try to grow all of my plants for the garden from seed. This is such a smart idea!

DoleValleyGirl said...


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on my latest garden journal post! Where do you live that your last freeze date is late May? I thought we had it tough for gardening, but I see we don't have it so tough after all. :)

Love your greenhouse container idea. Hope you get to plant your seedlings into the ground soon!

A pleasure meeting you,

Lisa @ HappyinDoleValley :)

Heather said...

How do you water the plants without them sitting in water? Did you drill the bottom of the bins?

Shelley said...

Hi Heather,

Our climate is VERY dry and it was quite a challenge keeping the soil moist. The boxes were warm and the water seemed to evaporate quite quickly!

So... no, I didn't drill holes in the bins, although you certainly could if you think it would be an issue :)

Danielle Chladek said...

I used this idea and its working out great. Some plants have sprouted some haven't yet. I've left the lids on for the terrarium affect but not sure how long to leave it on if some of the seeds have already sprouted.

Shelley said...

Thanks for letting us know how the boxes are working for you :) I actually don't start my seeds in these boxes. They are started under grow lights in the house, then transferred to the boxes when it's a bit warmer outside. I use the boxes outside to help protect them until June (our average planting date).

I would take the lid off as soon as you have a sprout. The lid makes it too moist for the little seedlings.

Laura said...

Brilliant idea

Valorie carroll said...

That is a fantasia idea
Will be doing this next year ...


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