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Thursday, March 17, 2011

MICRO-MINI GREENHOUSES

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S 3-20-2011 - UPDATE S


I had to cover the tops with some plastic, as there are holes in the top as well as the bottom, and too much air was getting in and drying the soil. I had doe one greenhouse in a plastic donut container that  I just cut holes in the bottom and this created the expected condensation  and I already have some kale seedlings coming up.  

Springtime is nearly here, so it's time to start plants indoors. I like to start tomatoes and peppers indoors for sure, because they take longer to get to maturity. I also start some of my herbs, like parsley, since the seedlings are so small that I can't tell if it's the plant I want or a weed, when I plant the seeds directly outdoors.  This year I'm also going to try cantaloupe and cucumber, since I had good luck with starting zucchini last year,  I thought they might do good as well. 
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You will need coffee filters, cardboard egg carton, plastic strawberry container (or other fruit container, as along as it has holes in it),  and seeds. Of course you'll also need potting mix, but I didn't want to haul the bag in from the garage, so I just filled a plastic bowl with some to bring in and use.

Place a coffee filter in the bottom of a plastic fruit container. This will catch any stray potting mix, so it doesn't all wash away when you water and create a mess under your greenhouse.

Cut the top and closing flap off the cardboard egg carton and discard or find some other use for them.
Next cut the egg carton bottom carefully in half, so that you two trays of six full cups. Place one tray in the plastic fruit container on top of the coffee filter.

Place some potting mix in each cup. I used a plastic spoon  and found a heaping spoonful to be pretty much what you need.

This is what I did for larger seeds, in this case cantaloupe. Place two seeds in each cup diagonally one way on the top row and the opposite way on the bottom row. That way your plants will have room to grow for awhile before needing to be transplanted. push them down the required distance as stated on the seed packet and cover with a layer of potting mix. For smaller seeds, like kale and parsley, which I planted later, sprinkle a few seeds in each cup and cover with potting mix. These you will most likely thin out later.

For tomatoes, which are more hardy, I did not use individual cups, but just put the potting mix directly on top of the coffee filter. I only put about 3/4" of mix in the container, because as the seedlings grow, I will add more mix, so they develop roots along the stem.

Place the greenhouses in a tray to catch the water that will drip out through he drainage holes. I placed them with the hinged sides to the center, so that after the seedlings start to grow, they can be opened up and one cover will not cover the other greenhouse. Water them well (a sprayer works well for this) and close the tops down and snap in place. I also labeled the plants on some tape applied tight to the drip tray, so the labels would stay put during watering.

Place your greenhouses on or in front of a south facing window. I have a bay window that faces south, so that works well for me. If you don't have a wide sill on your window, put them on a tv table in front of the window. Be sure to put a plastic bag or something  waterproof underneath in case you spill during watering.

There you have it .....
Micro-mini greenhouses!


Have a green thumb St. Patrick's Day!

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4 comments:

  1. Did you start your tomatoes and peppers already? I never know when I should start my plants.

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  2. That is genius! I started seeds on my classroom windows the last couple of years, but it won't be happening this year!

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  3. Thanks for this great idea! I wanted to try and grow some herbs this year, this post helps me out a lot.

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  4. This is just what I need...the kids were just asking if we were going to garden this year...I need a little kick to get going...this is it!

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