Starting seeds indoors may save money, but it can be a major undertaking. You have to have grow lights and space to set them up; you have to stay on top of watering and repotting as everything grows; and then, when it’s finally time to take your plants outdoors, you have to harden them off and hope that they survive transplant.
Being a fan of all things simple, I’ll be skipping all of that and wintersowing for the third year in a row.
What is Wintersowing?
Wintersowing is outdoor seed starting. Basically, you make mini greenhouses out of milk jugs and other empty food containers; fill them with a few inches of seed starting mix; plant your seeds; water them; put the lid back on; and stick them outside for the winter. They’ll germinate at the right time, and your plants will be better adapted to your climate than any plants that you started indoors or bought at the store. Don’t you love when the easy way is actually the better way?
How to Turn Milk Jugs into Greenhouses for Wintersowing:
1. Use a knife or awl to poke drainage holes in the bottom of your milk jug.
2. Cut the milk jug open four inches from the bottom. Leave an inch uncut at the back of the jug to create a hinge.
3. Fill the milk jugs with two to three inches of seed starting mix. Plant and water your seeds.
4.Then, close the top of the jug, and stick your mini greenhouses outdoors in a sunny spot. Check on them occasionally to see if they need water, and your plants will be ready for planting when spring gets here.
Need more containers?
Ask your friends and neighbors to save their milk jugs for you. I’ve tried other containers (berry boxes, take out containers, etc.), and they just don’t work as well.
Want to learn more about wintersowing or get free seeds to sow?
Check out my broccoli start! I got a 100% germination rate out of this container. Can’t complain about that!