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How to Sow Seeds in Winter

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.

You Will Need

  • Knife or scissors
  • Gal. milk jug
  • Potting soil
  • Half-hardy annual and perennial seeds
  • Clear packing tape
  • Liquid fertilizer
  • Garden

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