Make your own miniature greenhouse from recyclables and get a jump on spring by sowing winter seeds.
Step 1: Cut the jug Cut the jug horizontally with the knife or scissors, leaving a small attached piece that acts as a hinge where the handle is connected. Poke several holes in the bottom for drainage, around the top for air, and one in each side.
Step 2: Fill with soil Fill the carton with 3 to 4 inches of potting soil. Add water until the soil is moist.
Step 3: Plant seeds Plant half-hardy annual and perennial seeds according to package instructions and then tape the cut you made around the jug with the packing tape.
TIP: Half-hardy perennials include dahlia, geranium, gerbera, and tuberous begonia.
Step 4: Place in sun Place the jug in a sunny area outside next to your house. Water it only when needed to maintain soil moisture.
TIP: Poke extra holes in the top if there's too much condensation build-up.
Step 5: Fertilize Fertilize with a very diluted liquid fertilizer if sprouts turn yellow or light green, which indicates a lack of nutrients.
Step 6: Plant after frost Separate the individual plants and plant them in your garden after the last frost of the year.
FACT: Gardeners spent $2.5 billion on seeds, plants, fertilizer, tools, and other gardening supplies to grow their own food in 2008.