Mini Greenhouses from Milk Jugs

DIY Mini Milk Jug Greenhouses

Have you been dreaming of spring seedlings and summer gardens, looking through your seed catalogs? Spring can’t come too soon in my part of the woods! I saw a Pinterest post a few months ago about making mini milk jug greenhouses and I thought I would give it a try. I have found it is a way to bring a little bit of spring into my house this winter.

Get a jump on the gardening season make a Milk Jug Greenhouse | PreparednessMama

My milk jug greenhouse had been in an east facing windowsill in January.  If you have a south facing window, that will work well too. At this time of year you should try to get as much sun on the seedlings as possible. This will cut down in the legginess that winter plants sometimes get. You can also give it additional light with grow lights, but I’m trying the frugal way here!

After two weeks, the seedlings look fantastic. I’m planning on using these for harvesting Microgreens but you can use the same idea to start your seeds indoors and get a jump on the growing season.

Materials needed for a Milk Jug Greenhouse

1 gallon or 1/2 gallon plastic milk jug
Sharp knife
Packing tape (inside use) or duct tape (outside use)
Potting Soil

Milk Jug Greenhouse

Use this idea for starting your seed indoors or out

Instructions for making and using a Milk Jug Greenhouse indoors:

  • // Wash your milk jugs. Keep the lid.
  • // Cut around the jug about 3-4 inches from the bottom. leaving the back 1/4 attached (use it as a hinge). Be sure you leave the handle intact.
  • // Fill it with 2″ of potting soil. No need to cut holes in the bottom if you are growing these inside.
  • // Place your seeds inside. I soaked mine for 1 hour and placed them extra close together for Microgreens. You can also space them out for future transplanting. A half gallon jug can probably handle about 9 pea seeds.
  • // Tamp the seed down a bit.
  • // Cover your seeds with another shallow layer of potting soil. The bigger the seed the thicker the soil. Don’t fill it higher than your cut sides.
  • // Water in your seeds but don’t water them so much they are “swimming” in moisture. A good dampening will do.
  • // Close the top and put tape around the jug to keep the moisture in your milk jug greenhouse.
  • // Re-cap your mini greenhouse to keep in the moisture.
  • // Place your milk jug greenhouse in a south or east facing window and check it every few days. Spray water inside if needed. You are aiming for moist, but not soaking.
  • // After a few days you should see your seeds sprouting .
  • // Depending on the type of seed you are using, they should be ready for garden transplanting or Microgreens in 14 days.

I have had wonderful success with this method of seed starting and will continue to use it for microgreens and for getting an early jump on my garden starts. Next – outdoor seedling starts – I can’t wait!

For More Information:

If you are thinking about starting seeds outside in your milk jug greenhouse, use this link for more information. The only difference really, is drilling holes in the bottom of the jugs before planting and leaving the top off so it can receive rain water. They seem to be pretty self sufficient, but I haven’t personally tried it.

The Parsimonious Princess has also had success with outdoor milk jug greenhouses.


About Shelle

Preparedness enthusiast Shelle Wells shares her passion to provide women with reliable, realistic and practical information about preparedness, self reliance, gardening, food storage and everyday life – without the hype. Come ask an expert how you can prepare your family for the big and small disasters in life.
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4 Responses to Mini Greenhouses from Milk Jugs

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