Free, 5 Minute Greenhouse for Seedlings

Introduction: Free, 5 Minute Greenhouse for Seedlings

About: Just trying to make my life easy, on a very student-y budget

I wanted to give a tomato seedling to a friend without a greenhouse, and came up with this.

I wont do a 'materials' step because almost everything that I used can be swapped for something else :)

I love this project because it's free, fast, and made from something that would otherwise end up in landfill. You can re-use the greenhouses year after year, and give your friends who don't have greenhouses the joy of eating home grown tomatoes!

Step 1: Find a Transparent Bottle.

I used a flavoured water bottle.

Enjoy your beverage and take the label off if possible (I did it later on in the steps, but i think its easier to do it right away)

Step 2: Cut

Cut your bottle in half using scissors/ a knife/ a chainsaw/ anything. Be careful, danger, whatever. Keep your fingers attached to your hands if possible.

Step 3: Holes

Make some holes in the bottom of your bottle. I used a drill, you can use a hammer and nail, a heated sewing needle, whatever works. Again; fingers, danger, whatever.

Step 4: Fill

Fill the bottom of your bottle with compost, and plant your seeds as suggested on the packet. I like to plant no more than 3 seeds in each bottle to stop it from being overcrowded. I usually do 1.

Step 5: Slits

Using your scissors/ knife/ chainsaw, cut a slit up from the bottom of the top half of the bottle, a few cm long. do this about 4 times around the circumference of the bottle.

Step 6: Lid

Take the top half of the bottle and jam it on over the bottom half. It should be snug

Step 7: Take the Lid Off

Take the lid off the bottle and save it for another project. Leave the lid off as you grow the plant for ventilation. Water your seeds

Step 8: Sunny Place

Leave your mini greenhouse somewhere sunny, where it wont be blown over by the wind. Water when necessary, and wait for your little seedlings to grow!

Step 9: Too Big!

When your seedling is about to outgrow his greenhouse, you can make a larger one out of a 2L bottle, and then a 5L bottle.

If you have more seeds that you would like to plant than water bottles, you can either dig through your neighbour's bins (not recommended, you get funny looks) or you can make these newspaper pots and use one half of the bottle as the greenhouse, just bury it in the soil a little. That way, you get 2 greenhouses from one bottle.

Gardening Contest

Participated in the
Gardening Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Tinkercad to Fusion 360 Challenge

      Tinkercad to Fusion 360 Challenge
    • Make It Modular: Student Design Challenge

      Make It Modular: Student Design Challenge
    • Leather Challenge

      Leather Challenge



    3 years ago on Introduction

    it seems we have similar thinking! i was planning on adding a entry using a bottle to make a herb garden, with a slow waterer. that would feed out water slowly. i just wasnt sure how it would be mounted, so i never went through with the idea. i was thinking of doing what you did, you did a very good job of presenting it. well done! i hope you win!


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks! That's a good idea, feel free to use this as inspiration for your own instructable!


    Tip 3 years ago

    I put the drain holes about a half inch up the side, rather than on the bottom.

    This allowed a reservoir, requiring less frequent watering. It also encouraged roots to grow down seeking as much water as desired.

    You can also add one or two earthworms. Their castings will provide organic fertilizer. Red Wighlers seem to be the best.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Higher drainage holes is a very good idea! I'm not so sure about adding living creatures, I personally feel it's too cruel to add an animal to such a small container where it can't escape, but in a bigger or less enclosed pot I think that would be a good idea!