If you’re like me, the first warm days of spring hit and you want to start planting. I’ve come up with some creative ways to get plants going faster and get you to your harvest sooner. You can plant in your garden the old-fashioned way, or you can take a look at some of the inventive greenhouse ideas here.
The first is the soda bottle. You can turn it on its side, cut a hole in it, add soil, and plant your plants. Be sure to cut drain holes so your plants won’t drown. The bottle will heat up faster and hold the heat better, giving your plants a great environment to get going. Just don’t let them get too big before you take them out.
You can also cut your soda bottle apart to make a greenhouse. Put drain holes in the bottom and plant your plant or seeds. Then water and cover with the top. You can leave the cover on during cold days or take it off to provide ventilation. If it’s really nice out, you can take the entire top off. Or…use half of a soda bottle on top of a pot. It’ll keep moisture in and provide a wonderful environment.
Up-cycled plastic containers
How about take-out containers? Not to long ago I took home leftovers from a restaurant. The takeout container was black with a clear domed lid. A few holes and I’m set! What about cake and muffin containers from the grocery store? Though these are more fragile, they’ll get you through one season. Then, recycle them and start with fresh ones next time. This gives the added benefit of getting rid of any disease or insects that may be present.
Plastic storage containers work great for multiple plantings. Use clear 18-20 gallon containers for best results. I was at the Men’s Garden Club of Asheville one year for their propagation seminar, and this is what they used to root rhododendron cuttings. They placed a tray of soil in the bottom and wet it down thoroughly. Then they took cuttings, dipped them in rooting hormone and placed them in the soil. Then they covered it and left them for a few days. After a while, they angled the lid and provided aeration. The cuttings rooted much faster because of their environment.
Other common items
Don’t throw out your clear plastic bags. Place them over a pot you’re just getting started. They’ll keep heat and moisture in. And want to make your own slightly larger mini-greenhouse? Take a few tomato cages and cover them with a clear shower curtain. You can get one at most dollar stores, or use one you’re getting ready to throw out. Secure the plastic to the tomato cages with clothes pins.
With these ideas you’ll be able to get a jump on the season. And maybe not feel guilty about taking home that tomato plant you just had to have in March!
Do you have creative greenhouse ideas you use to get plants started? Share below!
photo credit: rosenbaum.com.br