Introduction: Mini Pocket Seed-starter!

About: I'm a person, into Science, Physics, Weapons, String Theory, Altoids tins, Vacuum Formers, Explosives, Computers and pretty much everything else.

You a gardener?
And are you tired of putting seeds in the ground, only to be eaten by animals as they sprout?

How about you grow your seedlings inside, starting with the pocket greenhouse? This cool little gadget allows you to sprout seeds with your own body heat, and then flip the lid and pop out the dirt-cubes for planting!

Step 1: Materials

Here's what you need:

  • 1 Altoids tin
  • 1 piece of clear styrene, vinyl,or plastic
  • Cardboard or stiff card-paper
  • Packing Tape
  • Dirt
  • Toilet paper (unused, PLEASE!)
  • White Glue and/or double-sided tape
  • Paint (optional)

Step 2: Cut the Window

Of course you'll want to check on your seeds, and opening the lid every time you want to isn't a good option. So here you will cut a window, allowing you to place the plastic.

Using a sharpie, draw a rectangle roughly conforming to the swirly logo border on the outside of the tin. Then cut (I actually used nippers to nip away tiny bits at a time) the rectangle out, and file down the edges.

Step 3: Cut the Pane

Take an index card and make a template that fits in your lid. After checking, use the template to cut a piece of the clear styrene/vinyl/plastic. Glue this in with WHITE GLUE. Super glue WILL dissolve the plastic. Then flip it upside down, put weight on, and wait 24 hrs. Fix any bits that come off with the tape.

Step 4: Build the Dividers

Cut out two strips of cardboard/card paper 3/4 inch by 3 1/2 inch (1 1/2 cm by 9 cm for the folks over the pond)

Then cut another two strips 3/4 inch by 2 1/8 inch (1 1/2 cm by 1 3/4 cm)

Cover these in packing tape until somewhat waterproof. Cut notches so they slot together into a grid, with the longer strips going one way, and the shorter ones going the other. There will be six spaces, and the grid should easily slot into your Altoids tin. You may have to trim it, depending on the thickness of your vinyl.

Step 5: Add Dirt and Seeds

Fill a (disposable) cup up with potting soil. Put a little in each divider section, and then press a seed in each one. Mist each until damp. Then cover with more dirt until you reach the top, and mist again. There should be a small airspace between the top layer of dirt and the pane. If not, take some dirt out until there is. Then put in torn little pieces of Toilet paper, not covering the middle.

Step 6: You're Done!

Close the lid, tape closed with packing tape (dirt in your favorite jeans=bad!) and put it in your pocket! Your body heat will quickly warm up the tin and create a warm and humid atmosphere, perfect for germinating. If you're going to run or bike, take it out though. The dirt ends up going all over the dividers. But if you're sitting and reading (or surfin' Instructables) Check it every day or so for sprouts, which should be promptly replanted in a larger pot.

Have fun gardening!

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